Wednesday, July 28, 2010

G Data Releases Tool to Block Windows Shortcut Attacks

The German security company G Data released a tool on Tuesday that blocks attacks using Microsoft's shortcut vulnerability but also preserves shortcut icons unlike the hotfix released recently by Microsoft.

The tool, called the G Data LNK Checker, is a small piece of software that is independent of other security software. It monitors the creation of shortcuts and then will block the execution of code when a shortcut icon is displayed, according to G Data. The tool is free and can be downloaded from G Data.

Microsoft hasn't indicated when it will patch the shortcut flaw, which can cause malware to be executed merely by looking inside a folder containing a malicious shortcut. The company released a hotfix last week, but shortcuts lose their icons.

"This is very impractical and not a very satisfactory workaround to the problem," G Data said.

G Data said its software will display a red warning signal if a shortcut tries to execute something that appears to be malicious. When Microsoft patches the flaw, G Data said its tool -- compatible with XP, Vista and Windows 7 -- can then be uninstalled.

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