Feeds

Redmond slow to fix IE 8 zero day, says 'harden up' while U wait

Phishers get fresh code execution bait

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft has decided not to rush out a fix for an IE 8 zero-day first identified seven months ago, instead telling users to harden up their browsers.

The vulnerability allowed attackers to execute arbitrary code on computers running the older Internet Explorer version 8 through drive-by and phishing attacks.

Details were made public through HP's Zero Day Initiative vulnerability clearing house after Microsoft failed to patch its much-hacked platform.

Microsoft was notified two weeks ahead of today's disclosure and has been contacted by El Reg for comment.

The ZDI disclosure said the use-after-flaw existed in Internet Explorers' handling of CMarkup objects.

"This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Internet Explorer. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file," the disclosure read.

"An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user."

Users of Microsoft Outlook and Windows Mail were less likely to fall for a phish exploiting the zero day because the apps open emails in the script-blocking 'restricted sites zone'.

Instead of a patch, Redmond released work-arounds suggesting users harden IE 8 security by changing settings to block and alert use of ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting, and install its Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) which makes exploitation of Windows boxes more difficult and expensive.

The disclosure comes on the heels of attacks targeting Internet Explorer vulnerabilities discovered in April. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.