Support for an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer has been added to a popular cybercrime toolkit.
The development means that cybercrooks who use the Eleonore Exploit Kit can take advantage of the unpatched flaw to more easily plant banking Trojans and other crud onto the machines of IE users.
Eleonore retails for a few hundred dollars a pop through cybercrime bazaars, which means it's available to script kiddies of modest means who can then use it to tag a huge population of surfers, probably through attacks that rely on tricking victims into visiting booby-trapped websites.
November's Patch Tuesday falls on 9 November and a fix for the wide open Internet Explorer flaw is not on the menu. Microsoft previously acknowledged that the unpatched flaw in Internet Explorer had appeared in targeted attacks.
The use of the flaw in a general use exploit toolkit raises the ante and ought to prompt Redmond in considering whether an out-of-band patch might be needed, notes AVG's Roger Thompson. He adds that consumers can protect themselves from attack in the absence of a patch by using the security firm's Linkscanner tool.
The unpatched vulnerability in IE affects versions 6.7 and 8 and revolves around flaws in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) token handling. Malicious code exploiting the flaws can be used to drop Trojans onto the machines of visiting surfers who visit exploit sites, providing they are running IE and unless they are using a tool capable of blocking the attack. ®