Feeds

IE workaround a non-starter

Disable Active Scripting, run for the hills

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Doubts have been raised about the effectiveness of a workaround issued by Microsoft to guard against a potentially devastating vulnerability in IE. Left unchecked the flaw creates a means for hackers to turn popular websites into conduits for viral transmission.

On 24 June many websites running Microsoft's IIS 5 Web server software were infected with malicious JavaScript code called Download.Ject. If IE users visited websites hosting Download.Ject their PCs attempted to download a virus from a Russian website. This website was quickly shut down, but the incident illustrated serious security shortcomings with IE and prompted security clearing house US-CERT to advise users to ditch IE in favour of alternative browsers.

Last Friday, Microsoft rolled out configuration changes to the Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 designed to protect against the Download.Ject attack as a workaround prior to the availability of patches. But postings to the insecure.org full disclosure mailing list over the weekend provide evidence that a slightly modified exploit can still yield full system compromise even on systems that have applied the workaround.

Users are advised to disable Active Scripting, except for trusted websites, as a precaution, until Microsoft comes out with a fix. Alternative browsers such as Mozilla, Opera or Netscape - which are not subject to this IE-specific attack - remain a much safer option. ®

Related stories

Microsoft half fixes serious IE vuln
Malware attacks IE users via pop-ups
CERT recommends anything but IE
Internet Explorer. Quick, call security!
MS hatches June patch batch

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.