Feeds

Nasty IE 0day exploit hosted on Amnesty International site

'Protecting human rights worldwide'

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.