Feeds

Second unpatched ActiveX bug hits IE

Swiss cheese browser gains extra hole

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications 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.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.