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Microsoft probes Windows DoS flaw

Newly discovered vulnerability could cause certain Windows applications to crash if a user clicks on an overly long Web link.

Microsoft is looking into a report of a Windows flaw that could cause certain applications to crash, the software maker said Thursday.

The potential flaw affects Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, Microsoft said in a statement. The bug could cause certain applications, including Internet Explorer, to crash after a user is tricked to click on an overly long Web link, security monitoring company Secunia said in an alert.

The flaw might also allow malicious code to run on a vulnerable system, Secunia said. However, that has not been proven, so the issue is so far deemed to be a denial of service, or DoS, problem only, Secunia said. The company deems the issue "less critical," one notch above its lowest possible rating.

Microsoft is investigating the issue, a company representative said in an e-mailed statement. The software maker is not aware of any attacks that attempt to use the flaw, the representative said. Once the investigation is complete, Microsoft may issue a security advisory of a patch, it said.

The Windows issue is one of several reported security issues awaiting a response from Microsoft. One issue the Redmond, Wash., company has said it will address with a security update later this month is a flaw in Word. That flaw has already been exploited in at least one targeted cyberattack.