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By | Dan Goodin 12th December 2007 09:43

Hey, HP laptop owners: click here to get hijacked

Pwnage made simple

If you use a Hewlett-Packard laptop, chances are a hacker can hijack your machine simply by luring you to a malicious website.

The pwnage comes courtesy of "HP Info Center", which comes installed on most HP laptops, according to a post made Tuesday to It turns out one of the ActiveX controls uses three insecure methods that leave users open to remote code execution and remote registry manipulation-based attacks.

The culprit is a component titled HPInfoDLL.dll, which by default is marked as "Safe for Scripting". It's at least the second critical flaw to be reported this year in an HP laptop, Ryan Naraine's Zero Day blog says.

There is no patch for the flaw at the moment, so the only way to block an attack is to exercise common sense. That means not clicking on suspicious links and installing an alternative to Internet Explorer, which is required for an exploit to work. In Firefox, using the NoScript extension is preferable. Other workarounds include manually settling kill-bit for a vulnerable ActiveX control, but that seems like overkill.

The researcher offers this link to detect if an HP notebook is vulnerable, but we can't vouch for the safety of the link. ®

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