Feeds

Nasty IE 0day exploit hosted on Amnesty International site

'Protecting human rights worldwide'

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Visitors to Amnesty International's Hong Kong website are being bombarded with a host of lethal exploits, including one that attacks an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, researchers at security firm Websense said.

The injected IE attack code resides directly on the pages of amnesty.org.hk, an indication that the perpetrators were able to penetrate deep into the website's security defenses. The code exploits a vulnerability disclosed last week that gives attackers complete control over machines running default versions of IE 6 and 7. Version 8 isn't vulnerable, thanks to security protections built into the browser.

It's the second report in a week that the previously unknown vulnerability is being actively exploited to install malware on IE users' machines. Last week, antivirus firm Symantec warned that an undisclosed website had been compromised so that it was laced with code that targeted the flaw.

The attackers then sent emails that lured a select group of people in targeted organizations to the booby-trapped page, causing those who used IE versions 6 and 7 to be infected with a backdoor trojan.

The underlying security bug resides in a part of IE that handles CSS, or Cascading Style Sheet, tags. As a result, the browser under-allocates memory, allowing data to be overwritten in memory vtable pointers. By spraying memory with special data, an attacker can cause IE to execute code.

A security protection known as DEP, short for data execution prevention, prevents the attack from working. DEP is turned on by default in IE 8. Microsoft has advised those who must use IE 6 and 7 to use a security tool known as EMET to add DEP to those earlier versions.

Not that Microsoft or Amnesty International should be singled out. Last month, a zero-day vulnerability in Mozilla Firefox was exploited on the Nobel Peace Prize website.

The Amnesty International website is serving a variety of other exploits that attack previously patched vulnerabilities in Apple's QuickTime media player, and Adobe's Flash and Shockwave players. The Websense report is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.