Feeds

IE patch 'imminent'

Download.Ject fix less than a fortnight away

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft may break its normal patch cycle to issue a fix for the vulnerability infamously exploited by last month's Download.Ject (AKA Scob) attack. Internet.com cites Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft group product manager for Internet Explorer, in support of a story that a patch is imminent. It reports that patch to be released next week will provide a "long-term solution to the core vulnerability" that led to the Download.Ject attack, one of the most serious security pratfalls ever to hit IE.

Microsoft UK was a little more circumspect with naming a date, but suggested a fix should be available "within the next two weeks". Microsoft's monthly patches normally come out on the second Tuesday of each month. So this would allow Redmond to issue a double-plus critical fix on August 10, consistent with its monthly schedule - but at a time when many admins will be on holdiday. Microsoft has previously indicated it wanted to avoid this scenario, but its hand as been forced by the seriousness of the vulnerability exploited by Download.Ject.

In a statement, Microsoft UK said: "A comprehensive fix for all supported versions of IE is under development and will be released once it has been thoroughly tested and found to be effective across the wide variety of supported versions and configurations of IE. In the meantime, we’ve provide customers with prescriptive guidance to help mitigate these issues."

"We will release the update as soon as we are confident that we are providing a quality release with detailed prescriptive guidance to help customers effectively manage and deploy the update. This update should be ready for release within the next two weeks as soon as testing and quality review is complete," it added.

Trojan wars

Earlier this month Microsoft released a tool to clean up machines infected during last month's Download.Ject security flap. Users visiting a website contaminated with Download.Ject activated a script that downloaded a Trojan horse (called Berbew) from a website in Russia. This website was rapidly taken down, but the underlying vulnerability in Internet Explorer used in the Download.Ject attack remains unpatched, despite a workaround from Microsoft designed to limit the scope for mischief.

Redmond released these configuration changes earlier this month and yesterday followed up with a tool to remove variants of the Berbew Trojan from infected systems. Berbew (AKA Webber or Padodor) is capable of extracting passwords and login details from victims and forwarding this confidential data to crackers.

The risk posed by future Download.Ject-style attacks prompted security clearing house US-CERT to advise users to ditch IE for general web browsing, a call since repeated by other security experts.

"Our users should have confidence that as long as they're running the latest browser with all the latest security fixes, they will have the most powerful and secure browsing experience," Microsoft's Hachamovitch said. A brave statement, to say the least, especially given IE's chequered security history. Even after Microsoft shores up IE's defences to repel Download.Ject-style Trojan downloaders, history would suggest the next scripting vulnerability is only a matter of time away. ®

Related stories

CERT recommends anything but IE
IE workaround a non-starter
Microsoft half fixes serious IE vuln
MS hatches July patch batch
Watch out! Incoming mass hack attack
Unpatched IE vuln exploited by adware

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.