Feeds

McAfee inadvertently speeds creation of Metaploit IE exploit pack

Unsanitised blog laid exploit hunt clues

High performance access to file storage

A security researcher has credited McAfee for helping him to develop exploit code that cracks open an unpatched flaw in older versions of Internet Explorer.

Moshe Ben Abu (AKA Trancer00t) used the flaw in IE 6 and 7 in knocking-up a module for the open-source Metasploit exploit database.

"I didn't find the vuln', just found it in the wild. With a little help from McAfee (http://j.mp/c4W3xA) :-)," the Israeli security researcher noted in a Twitter update on Thursday.

Microsoft acknowledged that the flaw, which stems from an invalid pointer reference, affects IE 6 and 7 and creates a possible mechanism for hackers to drop malware onto vulnerable systems. IE8, the latest version of Microsoft's web surfing software, isn't vulnerable.

Redmond's advisory, published on Tuesday, which provides workarounds for users unable to upgrade to IE 8, makes it clear that the vulnerability is already being used in targeted attacks.

These attacks are geared towards dropping backdoor Trojans, detected by McAfee and other security firms, onto vulnerable systems.

The flaw is separate from an earlier, unpatched IE flaw that involves tricking users users into pressing the F1 button, which is normally used to present a help screen, as explained in our earlier story here.

Trancer00t created code that allowed sysadmins and other interested parties to test networks for the presence of a flaw already under attack by miscreants.

McAfee's blog post helped Ben Abu to locate an exploit already developed and published by the bad guys, something he'd have been able to locate anyway. Nonetheless the incident has prompted McAfee to more closely review blog posts for stray clues, CNET reports

"We regularly sanitize blog content to prevent providing information that might assist attackers, while at the same time providing a service to customers and the security community to help improve protection levels," a McAfee spokesman said.

"The post in question did not contain enough information to directly lead anyone to exploit code. However, we regret that in this unique situation the post did contain details that may have given exploit writers a starting point to hunt for exploit code. Future blog posts will be subject to additional sanitization." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
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
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
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.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.