Java applet can perpetrate IE4 "nuisance"

Microsoft is calling a new security bug in its software nothing more than a nuisance. The new bug affects Internet Explorer version 4 and Windows 98. When an IE4 user has the Active Desktop turned on, a malicious Java applet can flood pixels onto the user's desktop, Start menu, or active window. The pixels overwrite anything displayed on the screen. No data is corrupted, but the attack can make it difficult to continue using the PC.

Microsoft is calling a new security bug in its software nothing more than a nuisance. The new bug affects Internet Explorer version 4 and Windows 98.

When an IE4 user has the Active Desktop turned on, a malicious Java applet can flood pixels onto the user's desktop, Start menu, or active window. The pixels overwrite anything displayed on the screen. No data is corrupted, but the attack can make it difficult to continue using the PC.

It has been dubbed the Ghosting bug by its author, a Singapore man who posted a demo of the bug on the Web.

A Microsoft spokesperson called the exploit a "nuisance" bug. Nonetheless, the company is studying the report and will decide whether to issue a patch. In the meantime, as a workaround, Microsoft says affected users can do a Control-Alt-Delete to shut down Explorer

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