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New Windows vulnerability reported

New flaw is a moderate risk and targets the Windows Kernel.

Security researchers reported a new Windows vulnerability that could allow attackers to gain elevated privileges on vulnerable machines.

Security research firm VUPEN Security said it confirmed the vulnerability on fully patched Windows 7 systems, and machines running Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows Server 2003 SP2, Windows Vista SP2, and Windows XP SP3.

Microsoft is investigating “reports of a possible vulnerability in Windows Kernel,” Jerry Bryant, Microsoft group manager of response communications, said in an emailed statement. “Upon completion of the investigation, Microsoft will take appropriate actions to protect customers,” he said.

According to VUPEN, the Windows vulnerability is caused “by a buffer overflow error in the ‘CreateDIBPalette()’ function within the kernel-mode device driver ‘Win32k.sys’ when using the ‘biClrUsed’ member value of a ‘BITMAPINFOHEADER’ structure as a counter while retrieving Bitmap data from the clipboard.”

The flaw, which the company rated as a moderate risk, could be exploited by an attacker to crash a system or execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges. Security provider Secunia rated the vulnerability, which was discovered by a researcher going by the name of “Arkon,” as “less critical,” just one step above the company’s “not critical” rating.

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A Microsoft spokesman said engineers have determined the Windows Kernel zero-day to be a low-level threat that will be addressed in a future security update.

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