Feeds

Opera says bug probably can't commandeer machines

Get your DEP here just in case

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.