MS DNS patch snuffs net connection for ZoneAlarm users

A cure worse than the disease

59 Reg comments Got Tips?

Updated Microsoft released four patches - all rated important - as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle, one of which left ZoneAlarm users locked out the internet.

The most significant of the quartet fixes a flaw in Windows' implementations of the Domain Name System protocol (MS08-037.mspx). Multiple vendors are subject to the DNS-spoofing vulnerability, which stems from a fundamental weakness involving a lack of entropy in DNS queries rather than a specific security bug. Successfully exploiting the flaw could allow hackers to spoof DNS replies, creating a means to redirect network traffic or to mount man-in-the-middle attacks.

Unfortunately Microsoft's fix creates problems in itself, leaving users of the popular ZoneAlarm firewall unable to access the internet after they apply the patch.

The experiences of Reg reader Steve seem typical. "I woke up this morning to no internet at all and on calling my ISP's tech support I was told there was an issue with the latest patches and Zone Alarm," he reports. "I have uninstalled Zone Alarm and everything now works fine. Not sure who is to blame on this one but it has been a pain."

ZoneAlarm has published a list of recommended workarounds to dealing for the glitch here.

Microsoft's three other patches cover vulnerabilities in Exchange server and SQL Server and, on the desktop, bugs in Windows Explorer. The Explorer vuln potentially creates a means for hackers to inject malware onto vulnerable systems running Windows Vista. This flaw - along with cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in Outlook for Web Access that affect MS Exchange and information disclosure bugs in SQL Server - are all rated "important" by Redmond but "critical" by security watchers at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm centre.

Redmond's summary can be found here. ISC's easier to understand "Black Tuesday" overview is here. ®

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER


Keep Reading

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030

Now to figure out how to make and store the gas, and fit fuel cells into bit barns

Power of the cloud builders: Who ate one-third of the $38bn data centre pie in Q3? AWS, Microsoft, Google 'n' pals

Old world vendors should club together, form new biz called 'Screwed by Cloud'

Data centre reveals it modeled interiors on The Hunt for Red October sets

Australia bit barn outfit NEXTDC adds classic film reference to usual mix of resilience, connectivity and security

Enterprises slam pause button on data centre spending, flatten pockets of old world tech crowd

ODMs in Far East make bank as public cloud slingers buy yet more infrastructure

Quantum compute boffins called up to get national UK centre organised for some NISQy business

Interim managers ready to go. £93m budget locked and loaded. No lets not talk about the size of the US National Quantum Initiative Program

Snail mail thieves feed international identity theft rings say Oz cops

A little bit of social engineering, a little bit of lax physical security and a whole lot of pain

Elite name on Brit scene sponsors retro video games preservation project at the Centre for Computing History

Couldn't come at a better time as Cambridge museum remains closed

Rabobank security cert expires and gives its Australian Android app a case of internet-blindness

Needs bank staff to sort things out, but a certain virus means the contact centre is rather busy right now

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020