Vulnerabilities / Threats
02:02 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft Warns Of IE 9 Security Bug

Microsoft promises fix for zero-day exploit that puts users of IE 9, and earlier IE versions, at risk upon visiting a malicious website.

Microsoft has received reports of "a small number of targeted attacks" based on a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 9 or earlier versions, and the company has issued a security advisory to help mitigate the risk of compromise.

Security researcher Eric Romang identified the exploit code on a server used by the "Nitro" hacking group, believed to have exploited the Java zero-day vulnerability reported last month.

Yunsun Wee, director of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, says that a security patch is being developed and that Microsoft customers should deploy the company's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). He also advises blocking ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting by setting Internet and local intranet security zone settings to "High" and configuring IE to either prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting entirely. However, he notes, this may affect website usability.

[ AlienVault researcher believes he has identified creator of PlugX malware. Read Is 'Virus Expert' Tied To PlugX RAT Malware? ]

Security firm Rapid7 advises that Internet users try a different Web browser. "Since Microsoft has not released a patch for this vulnerability yet, Internet users are strongly advised to switch to other browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, until a security update becomes available," the company said in a blog post on Monday.

Rapid7 develops the Metasploit penetration testing tool and has updated the software to include the new exploit, which means security administrators need to take steps to defend against the exploit immediately.

AlienVault, another security firm, says that "whg," the Chinese hacker believed to be behind the PlugX RAT malware, also appears to be involved in the creation of this latest exploit.

"We know that the group actively using the PlugX malware, also called Flowershow, had access to the Internet Explorer ZeroDay days before it was uncovered," Jaime Blasco, labs manager at AlienVault, said in a blog post. "Due to the similarities of the new discovered exploit code and the one discovered some days ago, it is very likely that the same group is behind both instances."

The group in question is the known as the Network Crack Program Hacker (NCPH), a Chinese hacker group that operates out of Zigong in China's Sichuan Province. According to Blasco, the similarities in the attack techniques suggest that "whg" is involved.

Cybercriminals are taking aim at your website. Is your security strategy up to the challenge? Also in the new, all-digital 10 Steps To E-Commerce Security issue of Dark Reading: About half of the traffic to e-commerce sites is machine generated--and much of it is malicious. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
9/18/2012 | 7:56:23 PM
re: Microsoft Warns Of IE 9 Security Bug
Lot of users in enterprise stuck with IE with no other option. I work for a company like that. They seem to be married to IE and although I have certainly wanted to move to a better browser their web site is so much tied to IE that it simply does not view or work properly in any other browser.
This is one of those times Microsoft should issue a out of schedule update patch.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
E-Commerce Security: What Every Enterprise Needs to Know
The mainstream use of EMV smartcards in the US has experts predicting an increase in online fraud. Organizations will need to look at new tools and processes for building better breach detection and response capabilities.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
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...

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.

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.

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.

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