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Microsoft Posts Patch for SNMP Vulnerability

Microsoft Corp. made a patch available late last week to plug the security hole in Microsoft implementations of the SNMP service. After applying the patch, some users will not need to implement the workarounds detailed in an earlier bulletin on the industry-wide problem.

Last Tuesday, Microsoft issued Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS02-006), which accompanied a larger security advisory from the CERT/CC detailing how an SNMP buffer overrun vulnerability impacted operating systems, applications and hardware from dozens of vendors.

Microsoft's original bulletin described workarounds to disable the SNMP service and promised a patch would be coming shortly, which this new version 2.0 of the bulletin delivers.

The SNMP service is disabled by default in all versions of Windows from Windows 95 and Windows NT up through Windows XP and Windows 2000 Server. Windows ME does not provide an SNMP implementation.

The patch included in version 2.0 of the bulletin fixes the problem in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. "The work-around procedure is no longer needed on those platforms. Patches for additional platforms are forthcoming and this bulletin will be re-released to announce their availability," Microsoft said in a statement.

SNMP or Simple Network Management Protocol is for managing network devices, so the vulnerability affects computers, firewalls, routers and other products. A buffer overrun present in all implementations, can allow an attacker to cause denial of service or run code in LocalSystem context.

Microsoft classifies the SNMP vulnerability as a low risk on affected Internet servers, a moderate risk on affected intranet servers and a moderate risk on affected client systems.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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