Windows cursor bug exploit targets WoW players + patch causes trouble

Posted on Thursday, Apr 05 2007 @ 13:43 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
A flaw in the way that Windows handles animated cursors has caused troubles for some World of Warcraft players. An exploit exists which allows hackers to take over other PCs and WoW accounts seem to be a hot target because some of them are potentially worth significant sums of money.

The article even claims WoW accounts are now worth more money than hacked credit card numbers:
Analysis of that malicious software showed that it lay dormant on a victims machine until they ran World of Warcraft (WoW) at which point it captured login data and sent it to the hacking group.

The group's enthusiastic use of the cursor flaw suggests it is trying to do the same again.

The online fantasy game now has more than eight million active players around the world.

Research by security firm Symantec suggests that the raw value of a WoW account is now higher than a credit card and its associated verification data.

One card can be sold for up to $6 (£3) suggests Symantec, but a WoW account will be worth at least $10. An account that has several high level characters associated with it could be worth far more as the gold and rare items can be sold for real cash.
Microsoft has patched this bug on Tuesday but according to CNET the patch is causing trouble for some users:
But the fix is not compatible with software that runs audio and networking components from Realtek Semiconductor, some Windows users have found.

"Apparently the update is not compatible with Realtek," CNET reader Dave House wrote in an e-mail. "We lost all Ethernet and audio functions. Removing the update and doing system restores brought the systems back."

Microsoft is aware of problems with Realtek's audio software. In fact, it knew about them before releasing the fix and published a support article with the security bulletin. An additional update is available from Microsoft to remedy the problem, according to the company's Web site. Microsoft is not aware of networking issues, a representative said.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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