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Gartner: Beware of Bofra exploit

Banner ad exploits will be a security bane for a long time to time, Gartner warns.

Hackers are set to increase their use of banner ad exploits as a means of gaining remote control of computers.

Analyst firm Gartner has predicted that attacks using the Bofra (buffer overflow frame exploit) or IFRAME exploit will become more common, especially around systems with sloppy patching.

In an emailed report issued on Thursday, the company said: "Gartner believes that attacks of this type will become increasingly common, especially around transition points--systems where multiple versions of software (such as Windows 2000 and XP) are in use without full patches across both platforms."

The Bofra attack exploits an unpatched Internet Explorer 6.0 browser vulnerability, affecting Windows 2000 and Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). Computers running SP2 not affected by the bug, but Apache Web servers are. The analyst company recommended businesses using Apache Web servers to apply security patches as soon as possible.

Earlier this year, Gartner publicly attacked Microsoft, saying companies should not expect the software giant to protect them.

"We've all been part of the biggest beta test the world has ever known--Windows. Microsoft will not solve all of the security problems, no matter what the richest man in the world says," said Gartner vice president Victor Wheatman in a keynote speech at Gartner's IT Security Summit in London.

Wheatman added that removing faulty software during operation was costing firms up to 5 percent more than finding flaws during testing.