Windows Meta flaw - attacks a-gogo

It looks like the latest flaw in Microsoft Windows is a really serious one, judging from my own experience and reports on the wires over the New Year period.

The flaw lies in the Windows Meta File system, which, as any programmer will tell, is widely used in most communications software.

This explains why attacks have been flowing thick and fast over the last few days, covering applications from MSN Messenger right through to BitTorrent.

The flaw is big. It affects almost any user of Windows XP with SP1 and/or 2 installed, as well as Windows Server 2003. Some reports suggest that Win2000 and WindowsMe are also affected.

F-Secure reckons that 99 per cent of the world's PCs are vulnerable.

A patch will be released by Microsoft on January 10, but in the meantime, it will pay you to disconnect your broadband modem when not actively using the Internet.

Yes folks, it really is that bad...