Of the nasties unveiled in Microsoft's October Windows patch security summary, four of them stand out in particular...
since they pose the broadest range of threats. It's interesting to see Windows Vista represented in at least three of the attacks in question -- although in each case the scope of the attack is narrow enough that even before applying the patches in question, a sensible user or administrator can generally avoid a problem.
PCs that are behind firewalls that block the RPC listeners would not be at risk, so almost any PC that's protected by a firewall would be safe from this threat. However, there's always the chance an attacker could exploit this threat from behind a firewall, between machines that have RPC ports open to each other and which are assumed to be safe.
Finally, the exploit isn't known to be in the wild, so there's little if any danger of blundering into this problem by yourself before applying the recommended fix for the product.
The problem is also moot if the user has another image viewer, like IRFANVIEW, installed as the default image viewer. (Windows Vista doesn't use the Kodak Image Viewer application anymore and, therefore, isn't vulnerable to this issue.)
Serdar Yegulalp wrote for Windows Magazine from 1994 through 2001, covering a wide range of technology topics. He now plies his expertise in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP as publisher of The Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter and writes technology columns for TechTarget.