Feeds

Second unpatched ActiveX bug hits IE

Swiss cheese browser gains extra hole

Top three mobile application threats

Scallywags are using an unpatched vulnerability in an ActiveX component to distribute malware, Microsoft warned on Monday. The development adds to already pressing unresolved Internet Explorer security bug woes.

No patch is available for the Office Web Components ActiveX security hole, although there are workarounds which can be automated for enterprise rollouts. The flawed component is used by IE to display Excel spreadsheets, greatly increasing the scope for mischief. Win XP and Win 2003 systems are particularly at risk, while the additional security controls in Vista cover Microsoft's modesty.

Redmond said it's aware of attacks against the security bug, which would involve tricking users into visiting booby-trapped websites. McAfee warns of targeted Trojan attacks based on the vulnerability circulating in China.

The timing of the advisory, a day before Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday update, suggests it's highly unlikely that a fix will become available until August at the earliest.

Monday's advisory adds to the list of pending Internet Explorer vulnerabilities, most notably an unpatched flaw in Microsoft Video ActiveX Control that has become the target of widespread exploitation since earlier this month. The flaw is particularly serious because Internet Explorer users can get hit simply by straying onto a hacker-controlled website, providing they are running Windows XP. Vista, as with the latest ActiveX bug, is far less susceptible.

Six updates - three of which address critical flaws in Windows - are due from Microsoft later on Tuesday, as explained here. Redmond is expected to patch the more pressing (and longstanding) online video ActiveX bug later.

Nonetheless, the current outbreak of unpatched ActiveX bugs has prompted some security watchers, including the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre (here) and F-Secure (here), to advise punters to consider using alternative browsers in preference to Internet Explorer. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Canadian taxman says hundreds pierced by Heartbleed SSL skewer
900 social insurance numbers nicked, says revenue watchman
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Burnt out on patches this month? Oracle's got 104 MORE fixes for you
Mass patch for issues across its software catalog
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
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.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.