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Hi-tech criminals are "escalating" attacks on an unpatched bug in the Windows XP help and support system.
Microsoft said it had seen more than 10,000 machines hit by the attack that, so far, it has not found a fix for.
Windows PCs falling victim will have control of that machine handed over to attackers.
Microsoft said the attacks had gone from theoretical to real very quickly and urged users to take steps to protect themselves.
Attacks on the Windows Help and Support Center Vulnerability (CVE-2010-1885) [blogs.technet.com]
In addition to the mitigations listed in the advisory, customers using Microsoft Security Essentials, Microsoft Forefront Client Security, Windows Live OneCare, the Forefront Threat Management Gateway, and the Windows Live Safety Platform have had coverage for this exploit since June 10th through the following two antimalware signatures:
Signature builds 1.83.1561 and later contain both signatures.
Payloads are detected by the signatures mentioned above.