Goodbye “Ping of Death”
Microsoft killed off a 20-year-old bug called the “Ping of Death” amongst a batch of 22 vulnerabilities it fixed yesterday. The vulnerability marked "CVE-2011-1871" is similar to one which appeared in the 1990s. When a specially-crafted ping request was sent to a host, it caused the Windows PC to blue screen, and then reboot.
Ping of Death was used to bring down Windows PCs remotely, often as a way to show the instability of the operating system and proof how dumb you were to stick your computer onto the Internet. It must be a different vulnerability as Microsoft patched the problem in the 1990s, unless it found its way back into the software design process.
If it is anything similar to the Ping of Death of the 1990s it would be a wise move to upgrade your window machine straight away. The bug exists in Windows Vista, Server 2008, Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, Microsoft said, but not in Windows XP or Server 2003. Of yesterday's 13 updates, two were labeled "critical" nine were marked "important," and two were pegged as "moderate."