New Zealand PC World Magazine & Bricking bug threatens most HP, Compaq laptops

From the page: “The hacker who posted an exploit last week that threatened a large swath of Hewlett-Packard’s laptop lineup followed up with new attack code that can “brick” nearly every HP laptop.

In a post to the Web site, a Polish security researcher who used the alias “porkythepig” spelled out a pair of vulnerabilities in an ActiveX control used by HP’s Software Update, the patch management program bundled with virtually every HP- and Compaq-branded laptop.

According porkythepig’s post, the Software Update bugs let an attacker corrupt Windows’ kernel files, making the laptop unbootable, or with a little more effort, allow hacks that would result in a PC hijack or malware infection. In either case, a drive-by attack could be conducted by feeding users an e-mail message with a link to a malicious Web site”