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Despite Microsoft Patch, US Gov’t Warns of ‘Active Threat Still Developing’ From Open Back Doors

Reuters reports:

The White House on Sunday urged computer network operators to take further steps to gauge whether their systems were targeted amid a hack of Microsoft Corp’s Outlook email program, saying a recent software patch still left serious vulnerabilities. “This is an active threat still developing and we urge network operators to take it very seriously,” a White House official said, adding that top U.S. security officials were working to decide what next steps to take following the breach…

While Microsoft released a patch last week to shore up flaws in its email software, the remedy still leaves open a so-called back door that can allow access to compromised servers and perpetuating further attacks by others. “We can’t stress enough that patching and mitigation is not remediation if the servers have already been compromised, and it is essential that any organization with a vulnerable server take measures to determine if they were already targeted,” the White House official said…

The back channels for remote access can impact credit unions, town governments and small business, and have left U.S. officials scrambling to reach victims, with the FBI on Sunday urging them to contact the law enforcement agency. Those affected appear to host Web versions of Microsoft’s email program Outlook on their own machines instead of cloud providers, possibly sparing many major companies and federal government agencies, records from the investigation suggest… So far, only a small percentage of infected networks have been compromised through the back door, the source previously told Reuters, but more attacks are expected.

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