Feeds

MS probes mystery IE bug

URL shortening shenanigans

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft is investigating reports of a new bug in Internet Explorer.

Redmond's Security Response Team (MSRT) said on Friday that it was aware of a "publicly disclosed issue involving Internet Explorer", and promised an investigation, without going into details.

Circumstantial evidence suggests Microsoft is referring to a post by security researcher Chris Evans, of Google, to a Full Disclosure mailing list on Friday, hours before MSRT's tweet.

"A nasty vulnerability exists in the latest Internet Explorer 8," Evans wrote. "I have been unsuccessful in persuading the vendor to issue a fix."

"The bug permits — for example — an arbitrary web site to force the victim to make tweets," he added.

The vulnerability may exist in other versions of IE and appears to be an extension of a cross-browser cross domain theft first documented by Evans via his scarybeastsecurity blog last December. Evans claims Microsoft has been aware of the bug since 2008, producing a harmless proof-of-concept exploit to illustrate his concerns.

Rik Ferguson, a senior security consultant at Trend Micro, explained that the exploit works by stealing the (supposedly secret) credentials for an already authenticated browser session, for example Twitter. "Those credentials are then abused to send arbitrary forged content," Ferguson writes.

The vulnerability might just as easily be used by other services that use URL shortening, according to Ferguson, who says that Opera, Chrome, Firefox and Safari have all already fixed this vulnerability. ®

Bootnote

A huge row kicked off back in June when another Google researcher, Tavis Ormandy, posted details of a Windows XP Help Center bug. Ormandy had given Microsoft just five days to fix the bug before going public. The incident reignited the long-running debate about the disclosure of security vulnerabilities, with spirited defences of their positions from both the full and responsible co-ordinated disclosure camps.

In the latest case, Evans apparently gave Redmond far longer to get its gear together before going public, and he only acted after other browser developers had issued patches, factors that mean it would be very hard to argue that he "jumped the gun".

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.