Feeds

IE zero day bites broader group of users

Misconceptions about root cause also exposed

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Researchers are warning that the unpatched security vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer affects more versions of the browser than previously thought, and that steps users must take to prevent exploitation are harder than first published.

According to an updated advisory from Redmond, the bug that's been actively exploited since Tuesday bites versions 5.01, 6, and 8 of the browser, which is by far the most widely used on the web. A previous warning from Microsoft only said that IE 7 was susceptible to the attacks. IE is susceptible when running on all supported versions of the Windows operating systems, Microsoft also says.

What's more, while there is some protection from Vista's User Account Control, the measure doesn't altogether prevent the attack, according to this post on the Spyware Sucks blog. Microsoft and others have suggested that those who must use IE in the next few weeks set the security level to high for the internet security zone or disable active scripting. These are sensible measures, but they don't guarantee you won't be pwned, according to this post from the Secunia blog.

Secunia goes on to revise what it says is the cause of the vulnerability. Contrary to earlier reports that pinned the blame on the way IE handles certain types of data that use the extensible markup language, or XML, format, the true cause is faulty data binding, meaning exploit code need not use XML.

Microsoft has yet to say whether it plans to issue a fix ahead of next month's scheduled release. For the moment, the volume of in-the-wild attacks remains relatively modest and limited mostly to sites based in China. But because attackers are injecting exploits into legitimate sites that have been compromised, we continue to recommend that users steer clear of IE until the hole has been closed.

Plenty of other researchers have weighed in with additional details about the flaw. Links from SANS, Sophos, and Hackademix here, here and here

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.