Feeds

Opera says bug probably can't commandeer machines

Get your DEP here just in case

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A security vulnerability identified in Opera can be exploited to crash users' browsers, but probably can't lead to the remote execution of malware, a company spokesman said.

The buffer overflow bug was disclosed by Vupen Security on Thursday, and the report has since been picked up by others, including Secunia and Sans. The advisories have said the vulnerability is critical because it can be exploited to remotely execute malicious code on end user machines.

Vupen officials didn't respond to emails seeking details. But Opera isn't so sure.

"We believe that the bug primarily causes a crash, and that exploiting the vulnerability to execute code is extremely difficult, if not impossible," spokesman Thomas Ford told The Register. He went on to say that users should be sure to enable a security feature known as DEP, or data execution prevention.

"In our testing, DEP mitigates the problem and should protect the system," he said.

Thing is, DEP isn't always turned on by default. If you use Windows XP, follow the instructions here to make sure you're protected. Users of Vista and Windows 7 can find details here and here. The changes will prevent Windows from executing code when loaded into memory by a variety of third-party applications.

Apple provides similar protections. Readers who know whether Opera is automatically protected on Macs are encouraged to leave a comment.

Researchers have figured out ways to bypass DEP and a similar protection known as ASLR, or address space layout randomization, but at the moment those techniques are extremely difficult for the average exploit writer to pull off.

Ford said Opera is in the process of pushing out an update that patches the bug. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
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
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
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.