Feeds

McAfee inadvertently speeds creation of Metaploit IE exploit pack

Unsanitised blog laid exploit hunt clues

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
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
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
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.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.