Windows bug found to all versions prior to Windows 10
June 14, 2017
Saad Omar (16 articles)

Windows bug found to all versions prior to Windows 10

We can all remember the nightmares of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). Over time and with newer releases of the Windows Operating System, there has been less occurrences of BSOD. However, it has resurfaced as a new bug was discovered affecting all versions before Windows 10. This bug causes the system to crash and not function until a reboot is performed. Back in the 95/98 era, all that needed to be done was to call a special file as an image source in order to cause Windows to crash.

As of now, the special file named ($MFT) located in the root directory of the NTFS volume is the cause of problem. $MFT is a name given to special metadata files that are being used by the NTFS system. Although special filenames are not allowed to be granted accesses and are “invisible” to the user, they can still be problematic. In other words, even if direct use of the filename is prohibited, one can still potentially point to it. Once pointed to, Windows will lock the file permanently preventing any other program from launching until the file system is unlocked which cannot happen.

Although browsers such as google chrome prevent such a file being given as an image source, Internet explorer passes the request. Once the blue screen of death appears, the only viable solution is a reboot. Potentially, this could lead attackers to potentially sent link via email, instant messaging, or links of images posted on websites. Currently, Microsoft has not released a fix. However, it appears that the file is located at c:\$MFT\123. Beware.