Feeds

Researchers bypass Internet Explorer Protected Mode

Just add exploit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Researchers say they have devised a way to carry out stealthy drive-by exploits even when victims are using recent versions of Internet Explorer with a feature known as Protected Mode.

The attack, described in a paper released by Verizon Business, requires the attacker to have an exploit for a vulnerability that's not currently patched. It works only against machines that have the Local Intranet Zone enabled, as is the default for domain-joined workstations.

Protected Mode, which was introduced in version 7 of IE, is intended to prevent exploit code from accessing sensitive parts of the Windows operating system, such as those that create files or change registry settings. But the Verizon Business researchers said they figured out a reliable way to bypass the measure that requires no interaction on the part of the victim.

“The attack combines the facts that sockets are not subject to Mandatory Integrity Control and that sites in the Local Intranet Zone are rendered with Protected Mode disabled,” the paper states.

“The new malicious web page will be rendered in the Local Intranet Zone and the rendering process will now be executing at medium integrity. By exploiting the same vulnerability a second time, arbitrary code execution can now be achieved as the same user at medium integrity. This provides full access to the user’s account and allows malware to be persisted on the client, something which was not possible from low integrity whilst in Protected Mode.”

A PDF of the paper is here. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
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.
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.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.