There's a hole in your laptop, dear HP, dear HP

Summary:There's a very serious vulnerability in the Help and Support Center utility that ships with HP laptops.

The Help and Support Center utility that ships with HP laptops might be giving help to all the wrong people.

HP laptop
According to a brief note from HP, there's a very serious vulnerability in the utility that could be used by hackers to seize control of Windows XP machines.

"[This update fixes] a security vulnerability that exploits a buffer overflow condition, which may have allowed a malicious website to read or write files on the PC," HP warns.

No other details are provided and it's not quite clear if this patch is pushed down to HP laptops automatically.

HP is offering an executable download (.exe) that must be manually applied on the vulnerable notebook.

The Help and Support Center comes pre-installed on HP laptops to provide easy access to product information, preventative care and maintenance assistance, and web links to online support and technical assistance.

Users worried about this threat should consider removing the entire utility (Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs) from laptops.

* More from heise Security.

Topics: Laptops, Hewlett-Packard


Ryan Naraine is a journalist and social media enthusiast specializing in Internet and computer security issues. He is currently security evangelist at Kaspersky Lab, an anti-malware company with operations around the globe. He is taking a leadership role in developing the company's online community initiative around secure content managem... Full Bio

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