Feeds

Chinese researchers inadvertently release IE7 exploit code

Butterfingers

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Chinese security researchers have admitted that they inadvertently released code that might be misused to exploit an unpatched Internet Explorer 7 vulnerability.

Scripts to pull off the trick were already on sale in underground forums before the inadvertent release. Even so, anything that increases the likelihood of digital delinquents getting their hands on the exploit is unwelcome.

VeriSign's iDefense security division reports that attack code was up for sale at prices of up to $15,000 through underground forums. Prices are likely to slide following the escape of assault code from labs run by KnownSec.

Security tools firm eEye reckons the flaw has been the target of exploitation since 15 November.

According to iDefense, KnownSec made the code available after failing to realise that last Tuesday's Microsoft bulletins failed to fix the underlying vulnerability behind the bug, which revolves around IE7's handling of malformed XML tags. A explanation of what happened by KnownSec (in Mandarin) can be found here.

The flaw affects XP and Vista users, and creates a means to load Trojans or other forms of malware onto even fully patched Windows boxes simply by tricking surfers into visiting maliciously constructed websites. Thus far the attack method has been restricted to delivering game password stealers, the Internet Storm Centre reports.

Microsoft is investigating reports of attacks and considering its options. The timing of the attack in the run up to the holiday period and just after a bumper batch of eight bulletins suggests an out of sequence patch might be on order before the next scheduled Patch Tuesday, on 13 January. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.