By Tom Espiner, CNET News.com
Published on ZDNet News: January 16, 2006, 1:55 PM PT
A Windows feature that automatically searches for Wi-Fi connections can be exploited by hackers, a security researcher has warned.
The feature is part of Windows XP and 2000 and was exposed as being vulnerable at hacker conference ShmooCon on Saturday by vulnerability researcher Mark Loveless.
Loveless claimed that hackers can take advantage of the feature to include a user's PC in a peer-to-peer network, giving them access to information on its hard drive.
When a PC running Windows XP or Windows 2000 boots up, it will automatically try to connect to a wireless network. If the computer can't set up a wireless connection, it will establish an ad hoc connection to a local address. This is assigned with an IP address and Windows associates this address with the SSID of the last wireless network it connected to.
Mac users 'too smug' over security
Technology commentator Bill Thompson is worried about the lack of herd immunity among his fellow Apple Mac users.
Mac users demonstrate an indefensible smugness when it comes to the dangers of having their systems compromised by malicious software and opened up to exploitation by others
Full article in http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4609968.stm