Patch to save your computer

The latest flaw in Windows code means it is not safe to surf, says technology commentator Bill Thompson.

It used to be assumed that you couldn't get infected by a &to=http://' target=_blank>virus just by looking at an image on your screen, because programs that display images don't treat the bits that make them up as code.

Tales of infectious images were just horror stories to scare new users with.

Two years ago anti-virus company McAfee got into trouble for claiming that the W32/Perrun virus could infect image files, when in fact it required a separate piece of viral code in order to spread. But now &to=http://' target=_blank>Microsoft has released details of a major problem the GDI+ graphics system which has turned the story into a rather unpleasant reality, informs BBC News.

According to the PC World, in the words of Marcus H. Sachs, one of the volunteers at the ISC, "Working exploit code is probably going to find its way into the public domain within a few days or a week. Then it's up to the whims of somebody or some group to build and launch a malware attack using the newly developed exploits. Crystal ball says to look for a worm or mass-mailer by the end of September."

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