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The BugBlog

The BugBlog is a daily look at computer bugs, incompatibilities, and other things that can go wrong with your computer.

The BugBlog is free- but if you want to help support its existence, subscribe to the BugBlog Plus. A three month subscription is only $5. The BugBlog uses monthly archives. All of the current month's bugs are here. Use the links on the left to jump back to past months, or use the search form. XML

5/31/2007 Mozilla Fixes Some Layout Engine Bugs

Mozilla released the Firefox 2.0.0.4 and Firefox 1.5.0.12 updates, to fix a number of bugs in the layout engine. Some of these bugs could crash Firefox and corrupt memory, which means they could be exploited as a means of installing malware. Mozilla credits Boris Zbarsky, Eli Friedman, Georgi Guninski, Jesse Ruderman, Martijn Wargers and Olli Pettay for finding these bugs. You can get the update via the Mozilla update function (Help, Check for Updates) if you haven't gotten notified automatically.

5/30/2007 Flash Player Sound Card Problems

Adobe Flash Player 9.0.45.0 for Windows may have compatibility problems with some sound cards. According to Adobe, the drivers for some Realtek and SoundMax cards may not support WaveOut, which will lead to audio problems. There is no workaround from Adobe -- you'll probably have to wait for a driver update.

5/28/2007 Overflowing iChat Can Allow Attack

A buffer overflow bug in iChat for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4.9 may allow a malicious local user to trigger either a denial of service attack or run hostile code on the victim's computer. The bug is in the UPnP IGD (Internet Gateway Device Standardized Device Control Protocol). Apple has fixed this in the Security Update 2007-005.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft.

5/24/2007 MacBook Loses Its Display

If you have an external display hooked up to a MacBook that is running in clamshell mode, after waking up the computer you may not be able to use the built-in monitor. Apple says you will need to use the f7 key to restore the display, and then you need to restart your computer. See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305507 for more.

5/22/2007 Isolating Microsoft Office

Microsoft has released their Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE). That's not a padded cubicle where you can stash your disruptive co-workers. Instead, it is a file blocking and file conversion tool that may help protect you from malware coming in on an Office file, especially via email. Read more about it, and download it, from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935865.

5/21/2007 Episode 5: Can A PC Guy Become a Mac Guy?

A Review of Mac OS X

5/21/2007 Your Header Ducks After Conversion

Microsoft says that if you use Word 2003 to open a Word 2007 OpenXML document that has a header, and then you save the file in the Word 2007 OpenXML format, the header may move farther down the page. Microsoft says they have fixed this in the update to the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats. Get it at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936695.

Today's BugBlog Plus has eight more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Opera, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.

5/18/2007 Vista Doesn't See Some Casio Digital Cameras

Windows Vista does not recognize the Secure Digital (SD) card for these Casio digital cameras: Exilim Card EX-S3; Exilim Zoom EX-Z3; CASIO QV-R40. Connect one of them, and Vista shows it confusion by giving this error message: Please insert a disk into Removable Disk (E:). Microsoft has a fix for this that includes a Registry edit. See the details for this, plus important warnings about editing the Registry, at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/934332/.

5/16/2007 Another Symantec ActiveX Bug

Symantec Norton Personal Firewall 2004 and Norton Internet Security 2004 both use an ActiveX control that can be exploited by remote attackers to run hostile code on the victim's computer. The control is part of ISLALERT.DLL, and has a buffer overflow bug. Symantec does not know of any actual exploits using this bug. They have patched this and are distributing the patch via Live Update. Users should make sure either that automatic updating is on, or do a manual update.

Today's BugBlog Plus has ten more bugs and fixes for Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Red Hat.

5/15/2007 Acrobat Can't Be First

First things first, according to Adobe. After you install Adobe Creative Suite 3, don't pick Acrobat 8 as the first product to start. If you do, you will see an error message: You must launch another Creative Suite application. It appears that anything but Acrobat will do.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft.

5/14/2007 ActiveX Bug Puts a Hole in Norton Antivirus

The consumer versions of Symantec Norton Antivirus, including the 2005 and 2006 versions, plus Norton Internet Security 2005 and 2006, use an ActiveX control that can be exploited by malicious websites to load hostile content. According to Symantec, they have already pushed out a fix for this via LiveUpdate. See the details at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/security/Content/2007.05.09.html. They credit Peter Vreugdenhil, working through iDefense, with finding this bug.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft.

5/11/2007 Windows Media Center Fouls Up Scanner

After you start the Media Center program on a Windows XP Media Center 2005 computer, you may find out that the buttons on your scanner no longer work. According to Microsoft, the Media Center disables all button handlers. They do this so that the mouse won't "interrupt the Media Center experience." Restarting the computer will bring back the scanner buttons. You can also get your scanner buttons back by restarting the Windows Image Acquisition service. See how to do that at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936090/.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, Cisco and Microsoft.

5/10/2007 Windows Mail is Persistent

Reboot or wake up a Windows Vista computer, and you may start seeing this message:
Windows Mail can compact the message store.
Microsoft says this will happen if any combination of Windows Mail, or the Windows SideShow Windows Mail gadget has been started 100 times. You will get this message even if Windows Mail is not your default email program. If you click Cancel, the message will keep coming back every time you restart. As workarounds, you can bow to the inevitable and say Yes. Microsoft says if you don't use Windows Mail, the process won't take long. Or else, you can turn off the Windows Mail gadget. (While it doesn't take up a lot of memory, this appears to be another piece of code running in Windows background, whether you need it or not.)

5/9/2007 Even RTF Files Can Trigger Attack

A heap corruption bug may allow an attacker to load hostile content onto your computer via a Rich Text Format (RTF) file in Microsoft Word. This affects Word 2000, Word XP, and Word 2003, but does not affect Word 2007. Microsoft has patches for this at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS07-024.mspx. The bug was discovered by iDefense, who has more details at http://labs.idefense.com/intelligence/vulnerabilities/display.php?id=525.

Today's BugBlog Plus has ten more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Apple, IBM , Microsoft, and VMware.

5/8/2007 Microsoft Patches Critical Windows Server Bug

Microsoft has patched the Domain Name System (DNS) Server Service for Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003. There is a buffer overflow bug that my allow an attacker to take complete control of the server through a Remote Procedure Call (RPC). Microsoft has patches available at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms07-029.mspx for this. Note that this is for Windows Servers, and not the ordinary Windows client software that most people use. Microsoft considers this a Critical update. They credit ark Hofman of the SANS ISC Handlers, and Bill O'Malley with the Information Security Office at Carnegie Mellon University for finding this bug.

5/7/2007 Power Drain For Vista Laptops

There have been many complaints about the poor battery life you may get when running Windows Vista on a laptop computer. The problem is the new Aero Glass interface, because if you turn off the new interface battery life shows much improvement. ZD Net has another story summarizing the complaints, and also details the work that HP has done in changing the power management functions on their Vista laptops. Read the whole thing at http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1040_22-6181366.html.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystem.

5/6/2007 PHP Fixes Lots of Bugs

System administrators and webmasters should know update for the PHP 5.2.x and 4.4.x have been released. PHP 5.2.2 has a number of security fixes, listed at http://www.php.net/releases/5_2_2.php. A somewhat similar series of fixes for PHP 4.4.7 is at http://www.php.net/releases/4_4_7.php.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Apple, Microsoft and Novell.

5/4/2007 Patch Tuesday Preview

Microsoft announced they would be releasing seven security bulletins on Tuesday, May 8. Two of them will be for Windows, with at least one of those at the Critical level (probably the DNS bug). Three of them will be for Office, and at least one of them will be Critical. (Take your pick from the number of unpatched Office flaws that we know about.) There will also be security bulletins for Exchange and for BizTalk.

5/3/2007 Apple Plugs QuickTime Hole

Apple has patched the hole in QuickTime that may have allowed a malicious website or Java applet to run code on your computer. This update is for both the Mac (OS X 10.3.9 and 10.4.9) and Windows (2000 and XP) platforms. This bug was the one exploited in the widely publicized hacking contest. You can get the update at http://www.apple.com/support/downloads. Apple credits Dino Dai Zovi working with TippingPoint and the Zero Day Initiative for finding the bug.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Adobe, Cisco, Microsoft and Red Hat.

5/2/2007 A Buggy Ghost (Norton Ghost, that is)

Security researchers at iDefense say there is a buffer overflow bug in Symantec Norton Ghost 10.0 that may allow local attackers only to run their code as a System level user. Symantec has fixed this bug with an update at http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/security/Content/2007.04.26.html. As a workaround, iDefense says to limit users access to the Norton Ghost Service Manager. See http://labs.idefense.com/intelligence/vulnerabilities/display.php?id=519 for more.

5/1/2007 Starting Firefox in Vista

Try to start Mozilla Firefox on a Windows Vista computer, and you may see this error message:
"The program must close to allow a previous installation attempt to complete. Please restart."
Restarting Firefox, or waiting and restarting Firefox, doesn't seem to do anything. What you need to do, according to Mozillazine, is to start the Task Manager and stop the "xpicleanup" process, if it is running. Then go to the C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox folder, and delete the xpicleanup.dat file. Still having problems? See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser_will_not_start_up#Windows-specific_problems for more help.

4/30/2007 Adobe Photoshop PNG Bug

Secunia reports on a bug in Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0, and possibly in Adobe Photoshop CS3. The buffer overflow bug is in the PNG.8BI plug-in for handling PNG files. An attacker may be able to construct a PNG file that could be used to run hostile content. There is no fix yet, and the only workaround seems to be avoiding suspicous PNG files. They credit Marsu for finding the bug. Read the whole thing at http://secunia.com/advisories/25044/.

Today's BugBlog Plus has five more bugs and fixes for Apple, Cisco, Google, and Microsoft.

4/27/2007 Windows Media Player Plug-in Problems for Firefox

Try installing the Microsoft Windows Media Player plug-in for Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.3, and the installation may fail with this error message:
Error code -203
Microsoft says to first make sure you have the latest version of the plug-in, at http://port25.technet.com/pages/windows-media-player-firefox-plugin-download.aspx. Then restart Firefox, and then restart the plug-in installation. You may see a message that Windows is changing Firefox compatibility settings. Microsoft says you don't need to do anything with that message. (Personally, I would cringe when seeing that Microsoft is changing something about Firefox, but that's just me.)

 

 

 

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