Just a few days ago, Microsoft acknowledged a major security flaw in windows XP and older operating systems. This flaw has to do with the program Microsoft DirectShow that handles multimedia aspects in your system. While you may not actually see DirectShow appear on your screen, many applications and plugins use this program to display multimedia items on your screen throughout your average day on the computer.
This program by itself is not flawed, but when it is paired with certain exploited websites, it can cause major damage to your computer. Visiting one of these sites will trick you into downloading an infected AVI file that uses directshow to infect your system.
As of now, MS has not released an official patch for this issue. It is expected that the next round of security updates will permanently fix the issue, but until then there is a “fix-it” patch to temporarily close the hole. If you are concerned about this flaw, you can go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971778 . On this page, click the button below the words “enable workaround“. This will edit your registry so this directshow flaw cannot harm your system.
Until next time, stay safe out there!