A security researcher has published the first exploit against one of the 14 vulnerabilities patched last week by Microsoft, security company Symantec has warned customers.
That update, one of six rated "critical" by Microsoft, affected every currently supported version of Windows, including the new Vista operating system. An analyst last week pegged MS07-042 as one that should be deployed immediately. "MS07-042 affects everything," said Don Leatham, director of solutions and strategies at PatchLink. "There's so much going on with XML in enterprises. That's why this is so dangerous."
Symantec warned users of its DeepSight threat-alert network to expect Bezroutchko's crude exploit to be polished soon. "The current proof of concept will crash Internet Explorer; however, it is likely that this code will be modified to produce a code-execution exploit in the near future," read the Symantec warning.
It has become common for exploits to appear within days, if not hours, of Microsoft releasing its security updates, to the point that the practice even has a nickname: Exploit Wednesday.
According to other research, however, Exploit Wednesday is part myth. Hackers don't actually stockpile attack code and synchronize the release with the appearance of patches, Craig Schmugar, a security researcher at McAfee Inc., said in June when he released the results of a survey of 200 zero-day Windows vulnerabilities.
"I don't see Exploit Wednesday as a strategically timed release but that it comes about simply because more information is being made available," Schmugar said.