In the flurry of more than twenty security updates which Microsoft released last week, it was easy to overlook one particularly insidious hole: a flaw in SMTP affecting Windows XP, Windows Server, and Exchange Server. There are probably a few computers out there running one or the other of these systems.
SMTP stands for “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol”, and is one of the standard components, used by most operating systems, through which computers talk to each other during the sending and receiving of email. As you might imagine, it’s ubiquitous in its deployment.
And no little flaw, this. Rather a great big hole you could drive the proverbial Mack truck through. According to the Microsoft site, “An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system, including installing programs; viewing, changing, or deleting data; or creating new accounts that have full privileges.”
So, if you or someone you love is running Windows XP 2003, Windows Server 2003, or Exchange Server 2003, run, don’t walk, to Microsoft and get the appropriate update.
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