Frustrated security researcher discloses Windows zero-day bug, blames Microsoft

There’s a new zero-day issue in Windows, and this time the bug has been disclosed to the public by an angry security researcher. The vulnerability relates to users leveraging the command prompt with unauthorized system privileges to share dangerous content through the network.

According to a report from Bleeping Computer, Abdelhamid Naceri, the security researcher who disclosed this bug, is frustrated with Microsoft over payouts from the bug bounty program. Bounties have apparently been downgraded significantly over the past two years. Naceri isn’t alone, either. One Twitter user reported in 2020 that zero-day vulnerabilities no longer pay $10,000 and are now valued at $1,000. Earlier this month, another Twitter user reported that bounties can be reduced at any time.

Windows 11 blue error crash screen.

Microsoft apparently fixed a zero-day issue with the latest round of “Patch Tuesday” updates, but left another unpatched and incorrectly fixed. Naceri bypassed the patch and found a more powerful variant. The zero-day vulnerability impacts all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11.

“This variant was discovered during the analysis of CVE-2021-41379 patch. The bug was not fixed correctly, however, instead of dropping the bypass. I have chosen to actually drop this variant as it is more powerful than the original one,” explained Naceri in a GitHub post.

His proof of concept is on GitHub, and Bleeping Computer tested the exploit and ran it. It is also being exploited in the wild with malware, according to the publication.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said that it will do what is necessary to keep its customers safe and protected. The company also mentioned it is aware of the disclosure opf the latest zero-day vulnerability. It mentioned that attackers must already have access and the ability to run code on a target victim’s machine for it to work.

With the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., and the fact that a hacker would need physical access to a PC, it could be a while until a patch is released. Microsoft usually issues fixes on the second Tuesday of each month, known as “Patch Tuesday.” It also tests bug fixes with Windows Insiders first. A fix could come as soon as December 14.

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