Feeds

In-the-wild attacks find hole in (fully-patched) IE 7

Hardened browser pwned

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Updated Security researchers are reporting in-the-wild attacks targeting a previously unknown vulnerability in fully patched versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. They surfaced on the same day that Microsoft released its biggest batch of security patches in five years.

Internet users located in China report infections that result when using IE 7 to browse booby-trapped websites. Researchers from McAfee investigated the matter and found the exploits successfully target the Microsoft browser on both Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Vista SP 1.

The exploits contain shellcode that installs the Downloader-AZN, a well-known trojan that hijacks a PC's configuration settings and downloads additional pieces of malware. Anti-virus software from McAfee, and presumably other companies, detects the trojan - though at the time of writing, it appeared they didn't yet detect the zero-day exploit itself.

The attacks target a flaw in the way IE handles certain types of data that use the extensible markup language, or XML, format. The bug references already freed memory in the mshtml.dll file. According to IDG News, exploits work about one in three times, and only after a victim has visited a website that serves a malicious piece of javascript.

Microsoft researchers are looking in to the reports, a company spokesman said Tuesday morning. Some eight hours later, the company had not yet issued an update.

The reports came just hours ahead of Patch Tuesday, Microsoft's monthly release of security updates. The patches included a cumulative update for IE that fixed four flaws that were rated critical because they could be used to remotely install malware with little or no action required of the user. Unfortunately, the miscreants are exploiting a separate security hole in IE, so the updates do nothing to protect users against the attacks.

In all, the Microsoft patch batch fixed 28 vulnerabilities, 23 of which carried the critical rating. Other Microsoft products that were updated included the Windows operating system, Office and Windows Media Player.

McAfee's report is here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.