Microsoft on Thursday said it is working on a security patch for a vulnerability in its DirectX streaming media technology in Windows that could allow someone to take complete control of a computer using a maliciously crafted QuickTime file.
The remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way Microsoft DirectShow, audio and video sourcing and rendering software, handles supported QuickTime format files, the company said.
"Microsoft is aware of limited, active attacks that use this exploit code," Microsoft's security advisory said. "If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 are vulnerable but all versions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are not vulnerable, according to the advisory.
For the attack to work an attacker would have to lure the victim to visit a malicious Web site that hosts the exploit. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user.
Microsoft said it would release a patch to fix the hole as soon as it is ready for broad distribution. In the meantime, details on a workaround are available here, as well a "fix it" button.