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

Website security in corporate America

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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 next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.