Microsoft has warned of a security issue with the Windows Graphics Rendering Engine on Vista, Server 2003 and XP systems which could allow attackers to take complete control of an affected system.
Microsoft has published mitigations and workarounds to tackle the problem and confirmed that it does not affect Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Jerry Bryant, group manager for response communications at Microsoft, said that the firm is developing a security update to address the issue, and will work with third parties and partners to make sure that malicious sites are not set up to exploit the flaw.
Angela Gunn, senior marketing communications manager for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing arm, explained in a blog post that attackers would have to entice a user onto a specially crafted web page, or to open a malicious Word or PowerPoint file, in order to exploit the vulnerability.
"Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system would be less affected by an attack than those running with administrative rights," she added.
"Microsoft is monitoring the threat landscape and working with partners through the Microsoft Active Protections Program to take action against malicious sites that may attempt to exploit this vulnerability."
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