Protect Windows 2003 Server from this WINS flaw

Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) includes a buffer overrun flaw that can leave Windows servers open for attack. Learn more about this flaw in this Windows Server 2003 newsletter reprint.

Many organizations rely on the Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) to help manage complex Windows environments. WINS manages the association of workstation names and locations with IP addresses, so the administrator doesn't need to make each configuration change.

In December of 2004, Microsoft confirmed previously released information that this service includes a buffer overrun flaw that can leave Windows servers—all versions, including Windows NT—open to attack. In order for the attack to be successful, the WINS service needs to be running.

Rated moderately critical, the flaw would potentially allow an attacker to take control of a server and run code of his or her choice. Microsoft recommends that users who don't use WINS disable this service. If you do use WINS, disable both TCP port 42 and UDP port 42 at the perimeter firewall.

For more information about this issue, check out Microsoft Knowledge Base article 890710.

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