Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/14/2010
05:49 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Attack Used Internet Explorer Flaw

McAfee Labs has identified a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer and Microsoft has published a security advisory.

The cyber attack from China that hit Google and 33 other companies in December leveraged a zero-day flaw in Internet Explorer.

"In our investigation we discovered that one of the malware samples involved in this broad attack exploits a new, not publicly known vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer," said McAfee CTO George Kurtz in a blog post on Wednesday. "We informed Microsoft about this vulnerability and Microsoft is expected to publish an advisory on the matter soon."

The advisory was published Thursday afternoon.

"The vulnerability exists as an invalid pointer reference within Internet Explorer," the advisory states. "It is possible under certain conditions for the invalid pointer to be accessed after an object is deleted. In a specially-crafted attack, in attempting to access a freed object, Internet Explorer can be caused to allow remote code execution."

Google disclosed the attack in a blog post on Tuesday, saying that it had resulted in the theft of some of the company's intellectual property.

"These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered -- combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the Web -- have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China," said Google SVP and chief corporate counsel David Drummond in the blog post.

Some researchers have suggested that a vulnerability in Adobe's Acrobat or Reader software was involved, but Adobe, a company hit by the attack, said it has seen no evidence that its software was involved.

McAfee VP of threat research Dmitri Alperovitch confirms that. "We have not encountered any indication that PDFs were involved in this attack," he said.

Alperovitch characterized the attack as incredibly sophisticated, the kind only seen in the government and defense industrial sector. It was free of amateur mistakes, he said.

He said that McAfee has dubbed the attack "Aurora" because an analysis of the malware revealed that name as a filepath in the malware binaries. Kurtz said he believes that was the name used by the attackers for their operation.

According to Microsoft, Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 is not affected.

However, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2 are vulnerable.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
'Hidden Tunnels' Help Hackers Launch Financial Services Attacks
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/20/2018
Tesla Employee Steals, Sabotages Company Data
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  6/19/2018
Inside a SamSam Ransomware Attack
Ajit Sancheti, CEO and Co-Founder, Preempt,  6/20/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-7682
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-22
Micro Focus Solutions Business Manager versions prior to 11.4 allows a user to invoke SBM RESTful services across domains.
CVE-2018-12689
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-22
phpLDAPadmin 1.2.2 allows LDAP injection via a crafted server_id parameter in a cmd.php?cmd=login_form request, or a crafted username and password in the login panel.
CVE-2018-12538
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-22
In Eclipse Jetty versions 9.4.0 through 9.4.8, when using the optional Jetty provided FileSessionDataStore for persistent storage of HttpSession details, it is possible for a malicious user to access/hijack other HttpSessions and even delete unmatched HttpSessions present in the FileSystem's storage...
CVE-2018-12684
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-22
Out-of-bounds Read in the send_ssi_file function in civetweb.c in CivetWeb through 1.10 allows attackers to cause a Denial of Service or Information Disclosure via a crafted SSI file.
CVE-2018-12687
PUBLISHED: 2018-06-22
tinyexr 0.9.5 has an assertion failure in DecodePixelData in tinyexr.h.