Feeds

Unofficial IE patch saves humanity

Third party, fire and theft

The essential guide to IT transformation

Security researchers have released a patch designed to protect users against an outstanding Internet Explorer vulnerability in the absence of available security updates from Microsoft.

A new ad-hoc group of security pros, called the Zeroday Emergency Response Team (ZERT), has released an unofficial fix designed to address the Vector Markup Language (VML) component vulnerability in IE, the most serious of two unpatched IE vulnerabilities. It plans to release other security bug fixes in future.

Hackers are taking advantage of this VML security flaw in IE to infect users visiting pornographic websites. Opening maliciously constructed emails in Outlook is also a potential risk, especially as attacks targeting the vulnerability are growing in prevalence since their first appearance last week.

The security bug is unrelated to a (still unpatched) flaw in Microsoft's Direct Animation Path (daxctle.ocx) ActiveX control discovered earlier this month.

ZERT said users should replace its fix with Microsoft's patch once this becomes available. "It is always a good idea to wait for a vendor-supplied patch and apply it as soon as possible, but there will be times when an ad-hoc group such as ours can release a working patch before a vendor can release their solution," it said.

Separately, security management firm PatchLink released a more limited workaround designed to help its customers (and only its customers) protect their networks from the VML exploit.

PatchLink estimates the number of vulnerabilities in various applications released this year will reach 6,700, some of which will become the subject of exploit before vendors get around to releasing patches.

Because of the growing issue of unpatched (so called zero-day) exploits, IT administrators can expect to see more third party patches such as the VML patch released by the ZERT group. PatchLink advises to check the provenance of patches and carry out testing before applying fixes in case they cause more problems than they solve in a user's environment. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?