Security Patch Released for Windows Media Server
- By Scott Bekker
Microsoft has released a patch
for a particular Denial of Service (DoS) attack that could cripple servers
running Windows Media Server.
Malicious users can connect to a
Windows Media Server running the Unicast Service, then quickly close the
session with a certain string of packets. Although the server recognizes that
the session is closed, the server resources are still allocated to the user.
When these steps are repeated, it is likely that a user could cripple a server.
In order to restore services,
administrators would have to restart the afflicted server.
Presumably the hacking community
shared scripts to automate the packet strings for disabling servers in this
manner. Although the DoS attacks used to cripple Yahoo! and other sites in
early 2000 used packets to exhaust server resources, the spring attacks used
floods of meaningless packets, rather than specialized packets for disabling
servers. This attack requires greater sophistication to perform.
Microsoft’s patch prevents this
attack from exhausting resources on a Windows Media Server. It is available
from Microsoft at http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/Release.asp?ReleaseID=26470.
– Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.