Risk
12/22/2010
10:51 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Microsoft Moves To Block Zero Day Attack

A French IT security firm recently warned of a new vulnerability that opens most versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer open to attack.

A French IT security firm recently warned of a new vulnerability that opens most versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer open to attack.Should a successful hack be launched, the attacker could circumvent many of the defenses available in both Windows Vista and Windows 7. The attacker could also run code of their choice on the target system.

To make the situation more pressing, the Metasploit project recently added an exploit to its database that successfully evades Microsoft's ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and bypass DEP (Data Execution Prevention) defenses.

In an e-mail to InformationWeek, Microsoft noted that there is currently no indication that customers are being attacked. Late this evening, Microsoft's Security Research & Defense blog posted an update and mitigation guidance for the vulnerability.

Microsoft provided some details on the exploit:

The Metasploit project recently published an exploit for this vulnerability using a known technique to evade ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) and bypass DEP (Data Execution Prevention).

In a few words, Internet Explorer loads mscorie.dll, a library that was not compiled with /DYNAMICBASE (thus not supporting ASLR and being located always at the same base) when processing some html tags. Attackers use these predictable mappings to evade ASLR and bypass DEP by using ROP (return oriented programming) gadgets from these DLLs in order to allocate executable memory, copying their shellcode and jumping into it. Note that without that predictable mapping, the only public ways to evade ASLR and DEP is through:

• Use of this (in case the current vulnerability allows) or another vulnerability as an information leak.

• Using techniques such as JIT-spraying or similar ones. Please note IE only JITs IE9's javascript and there are security mitigations in place. But third party plugins could JIT in an insecure manner.

The same post recommends users employ Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) to block the threat. According to Microsoft, by using EMET, the associated mandatory ASLR, Heap Spray pre-allocation, and EAT Filtering will all mitigate the risk associated with this attack.

Microsoft also has more information in Security Advisory 2488013.

For my security and technology tweets throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: PGA GO! allows me to work on my drive and putt at the office.
Current Issue
The Changing Face of Identity Management
Mobility and cloud services are altering the concept of user identity. Here are some ways to keep up.
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio

The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.