Feeds

New IIS attacks (greatly) expand number of vulnerable servers

Microsoft's webserver even easier to exploit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Attackers have begun actively targeting an unpatched hole in Microsoft's Internet Information Services webserver using new exploit code that greatly expands the number of systems that are vulnerable to the bug.

In an updated advisory published Friday, Microsoft researchers said they are seeing "limited attacks" exploiting the vulnerability, which resides in a file transfer protocol component of IIS. Exploit code publicly released in the past 24 hours is now able to cause vulnerable servers to crash even when users don't have the ability to create their own directories.

That means the bug, for which there is no patch, is easier to exploit than previously thought. In an earlier advisory, Microsoft said attacks only worked when untrusted users had write access to directories. For the moment, Microsoft continues to say that IIS5 running on Windows 2000 appears to be the only version that is vulnerable to attacks that can remotely execute malicious code on an underlying server. But it's now clear that hackers can target every version of IIS to cause denial-of-service attacks.

Microsoft said Thursday that it planned to issue five security updates for next week's Patch Tuesday. None of the affected software listed in the limited disclosure included IIS, so users shouldn't expect a fix then. Microsoft has said only that it plans to issue a patch as soon as one is ready.

In the meantime, IIS users should follow workarounds that include turning off FTP if it's not needed (in more recent versions it's disabled by default), or at the very least, blocking FTP access to unauthenticated users.

The bug is exploited by listing directories with specially manipulated names that trigger a buffer stack overflow in the application. The new exploit code is able to cause IIS6 systems to crash, but Microsoft makes no mention those systems can be further compromised. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.