Windows 7 hit by 'blue screen of death' flaw

Blue Screen of Death

Microsoft has warned about a vulnerability that could crash systems and create the 'blue screen of death' for affected Windows users.

Microsoft confirmed that is investigating reports of the vulnerability, which the SANS Internet Storm Centre (ISC) said could allow attackers to crash Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 systems.

It targeted a flaw in the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) implementation, a network file sharing protocol used in Windows. The company said it was not yet aware of attacks that tried to use the vulnerability.

But Microsoft did say that an attacker who exploited the flaw could take control of the affected system, although most attempts to exploit would simply cause the system to stop responding and restart.

The exploit code has already been made public, and Microsoft said it was concerned that the report of the flaw was not handled responsibly, just like with the disclosure of an issue with the Microsoft IIS web server last week.