Microsoft squeezes out Duqu workaround


Microsoft may not have announced plans for a patch to stop the Stuxnet-like malware Duqu infecting systems, but it has pushed out a workaround for IT departments to use.

Earlier this week, it emerged a Windows vulnerability was exploited by Duqu via an infected Word document sent to targets.

Microsoft said it was looking into a flaw in a Windows component - Win32k TrueType font parsing engine - affecting all versions of the OS from XP through to Windows 7.

"An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in kernel mode," the Redmond giant said in an advisory.

"The attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. We are aware of targeted attacks that try to use the reported vulnerability."

The workaround included denying access to 'T2EMBED.DLL' by entering certain commands, which differed for the varying operating systems, including Windows Server versions. Precise details from Microsoft can be found here.

Microsoft could not confirm if or when a patch would be coming, simply saying it may send out a security update in one of its monthly Patch Tuesdays or in an out-of-cycle release.

More information on Duqu has been trickling out, with many suggesting just a small group of victims were targeted.

Symantec said six "possible organisations" in eight countries, including the UK, have confirmed infections, although Kaspersky disputed the figures. The Russian firm said it had detected three victims in Sudan and four in Iran alone.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.