Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

3/25/2010
12:11 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Hacker Cracks Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7

Despite the security measures included in Windows 7, two security researchers were able to defeat the security provided to users running Internet Explorer 8 on top of Microsoft's latest operating system.

Despite the security measures included in Windows 7, two security researchers were able to defeat the security provided to users running Internet Explorer 8 on top of Microsoft's latest operating system.The researchers managed to surf their way through Windows 7's Data Execution Prevention (DEP) and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) anti-hacking defenses on a completely up-to-date and fully patched 64-bit version of Windows 7 running IE8.

If you find that news sobering, consider how (relatively) quickly the Dutch hacker, Peter Vreugdenhil, was able to develop a working exploit. From Ryan Naraine at the Threatpost blog:

"I started with a bypass for ALSR which gave me the base address for one of the modules loaded into IE. I used that knowledge to do the DEP bypass," he added.

Vreugdenhil, who won a $10,000 cash prize and a new Windows machine, said he uses fuzzing techniques to find software vulnerabilities. "I specifically looking through my fuzzing logs for a bug like this because I could use it to do the ASLR bypass, he said.

After finding the IE 8 vulnerability, Vreugdenhil said it took about two weeks to write an exploit to get around the ASLR+DEP mitigations.

"Fuzzing" techniques include using tools that throw random data (essentially junk) at software inputs to see what happens.

Vreugdenhil published a brief paper [.PDF] explaining how he bypassed both ASLR and DEP.

The demonstration took place at the CanSecWest Vancouver security conference, underway now. It's part of a contest funded by intrusion-prevention provider Tipping Point. More than $100,000 in prizes are earmarked for hackers who can break into leading Internet browsers and mobile platforms for the iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, and Andriod.

IE 8 running on Windows 7 wasn't the only browser to fall at the conference so far. The iPhone, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox also fell to exploits designed to take advantage of zero-day vulnerabilities in all of those systems.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, consider following me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
NSA Appoints Rob Joyce as Cyber Director
Dark Reading Staff 1/15/2021
Vulnerability Management Has a Data Problem
Tal Morgenstern, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Vulcan Cyber,  1/14/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This is not what I meant by "I would like to share some desk space"
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27221
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-21
In Eclipse OpenJ9 up to version 0.23, there is potential for a stack-based buffer overflow when the virtual machine or JNI natives are converting from UTF-8 characters to platform encoding.
CVE-2021-1067
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
NVIDIA SHIELD TV, all versions prior to 8.2.2, contains a vulnerability in the implementation of the RPMB command status, in which an attacker can write to the Write Protect Configuration Block, which may lead to denial of service or escalation of privileges.
CVE-2021-1068
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
NVIDIA SHIELD TV, all versions prior to 8.2.2, contains a vulnerability in the NVDEC component, in which an attacker can read from or write to a memory location that is outside the intended boundary of the buffer, which may lead to denial of service or escalation of privileges.
CVE-2021-1069
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
NVIDIA SHIELD TV, all versions prior to 8.2.2, contains a vulnerability in the NVHost function, which may lead to abnormal reboot due to a null pointer reference, causing data loss.
CVE-2020-26252
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-20
OpenMage is a community-driven alternative to Magento CE. In OpenMage before versions 19.4.10 and 20.0.6, there is a vulnerability which enables remote code execution. In affected versions an administrator with permission to update product data to be able to store an executable file on the server ...