IE zero day bites broader group of users

Misconceptions about root cause also exposed


Researchers are warning that the unpatched security vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer affects more versions of the browser than previously thought, and that steps users must take to prevent exploitation are harder than first published.

According to an updated advisory from Redmond, the bug that's been actively exploited since Tuesday bites versions 5.01, 6, and 8 of the browser, which is by far the most widely used on the web. A previous warning from Microsoft only said that IE 7 was susceptible to the attacks. IE is susceptible when running on all supported versions of the Windows operating systems, Microsoft also says.

What's more, while there is some protection from Vista's User Account Control, the measure doesn't altogether prevent the attack, according to this post on the Spyware Sucks blog. Microsoft and others have suggested that those who must use IE in the next few weeks set the security level to high for the internet security zone or disable active scripting. These are sensible measures, but they don't guarantee you won't be pwned, according to this post from the Secunia blog.

Secunia goes on to revise what it says is the cause of the vulnerability. Contrary to earlier reports that pinned the blame on the way IE handles certain types of data that use the extensible markup language, or XML, format, the true cause is faulty data binding, meaning exploit code need not use XML.

Microsoft has yet to say whether it plans to issue a fix ahead of next month's scheduled release. For the moment, the volume of in-the-wild attacks remains relatively modest and limited mostly to sites based in China. But because attackers are injecting exploits into legitimate sites that have been compromised, we continue to recommend that users steer clear of IE until the hole has been closed.

Plenty of other researchers have weighed in with additional details about the flaw. Links from SANS, Sophos, and Hackademix here, here and here


Keep Reading

Microsoft drives users to the Edge: Internet Explorer to redirect to Chromium-based browser in November

'Hey, you folks heard that there's this virus starting to spread?' – IE, probably

We've come to wish you an unhappy birthday: Microsoft to yank services from Internet Explorer, kill off Legacy Edge by 2021

You need to give that plate back to us after you've finished your cake. Yes the fork too. We'll get your coat

Microsoft teases Azure Data Explorer connector for picking its Synapse analytics service's brains

What do you mean you're not on board the Big Data bus?

Azure DevOps Services reminds users that, yes, it really is time to pull the plug on Internet Explorer 11

Ignite Sure, it's still wedged in the OS, but maybe you'd prefer something shiny and Chromier?

In a world where up is down, it's heartwarming to know Internet Explorer still tops list of web dev pain points

Incompatibilities and inconsistent standards support among browsers ensure an ongoing source of headaches

Disabled by default: Microsoft ups the ante in its war against VBScript on Internet Explorer

Will the last IE 11 user please turn out the lights?

If you never thought you'd hear a Microsoftie tell you to stop using Internet Explorer, lap it up: 'I beg you, let it retire to great bitbucket in the sky'

We say take off and nuke the entire codebase from orbit. It's the only way to be sure

Microsoft adds Internet Explorer mode to Chromium Edge, announces roadmap

Enterprise features including support for hated ancient browser ready to evaluate

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020