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