August 11, 2009
The Microsoft Active Template Library is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability.
NOTE: This issue affects a private version of the ATL used internally by Microsoft; components written by other vendors are likely unaffected.
Remote attackers can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running an application built against the affected library. Failed exploit attempts will result in a denial-of-service condition.
Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To reduce the impact of latent vulnerabilities, always run nonadministrative software as an unprivileged user with minimal access rights.
Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity. This includes but is not limited to requests that include NOP sleds and unexplained incoming and outgoing traffic. This may indicate exploit attempts or activity that results from a successful exploit.
Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
To reduce the likelihood of successful exploits, never visit sites of questionable integrity or follow links provided by unfamiliar or untrusted sources.
Set web browser security to disable the execution of script code or active content.
To limit exposure to these issues, disable support for client-side scripting and active content. This is especially prudent for untrusted sites in the Internet Zone.
Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Memory-protection schemes (such as nonexecutable stack and heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments) may complicate exploit attempts.
The vendor has released an advisory along with fixes. Please see the references for details.
Ryan Smith of VeriSign iDefense Labs
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