OSNews notes Windows RDP Exploit Discovered. “A denial of service vulnerability reportedly affects the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol.” OS News goes on to advise, “Either disable RDP or make sure you have a firewall enabled for port 3389 until a fix is available.” This is nonsensical advice. First, if you have “a firewall enabled for port 3389,” does that mean the process can’t go through the port. If so, what’s the point of running Remote Access?
The report does not identify the problem as something that could allow a malicious attacker to take over your machine, only inconvenience you with a denial of service issue, or possibly shutting down your machine. Obviously, you should turn off Remote Desktop access if you don’t need it.
There’s a stunning note on the Microsoft Security Advisory linked from the OSNews article: “Remote Desktop is enabled by default on Windows XP Media Center Edition.” What on earth were they thinking, by enabling a remote access interface on a OS designed to be used as standalone home media appliances? Is this Trustworthy Computing? Not even close.