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Microsoft Rushes to Patch 'Serious' Flaw in IE6, IE7

Microsoft has announced that it is currently testing a patch for an IE6 and IE7 flaw after the exploitation code was made public by Israeli security researcher Moshe Ben Abu. Though the next Patch Tuesday is not until early April, Microsoft's Jerry Bryant said the release of the code means there would likely be a patch before then.

"We have seen speculation that Microsoft might release an update for this issue out-of-band," Bryant, a senior communications manager with the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) wrote in a blog post. "I can tell you that we are working hard to produce an update which is now in testing," he said, adding, " This is a critical and time intensive step of the process as the update must be tested against all affected versions of Internet Explorer on all supported versions of Windows."

Microsoft warned users of the vulnerability last week, only to have research Moshe Ben Abu release the exploitation code the next day. The vulnerability is said to exist due to an invalid pointer reference being used within IE. MS says it is possible 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," Microsoft said in its advisory.

Microsoft has released an automated workaround but the Fix It is only effective for users running Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Read Bryant's full blog post here. Click here to access the Fix It page.

  • Hellbound
    I thought IE6 was put to pasture..
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    IE6? Is it still alive and well? I thought it would have faded away by now.
    Reply
  • lightsaber
    I thought IE6 support was done away with??
    Reply
  • doomtomb
    I know a faster patch: upgrade to IE8 or better yet, get Firefox.
    Reply
  • Regulas
    Even if you don't use IE, MS has the browser tied to the OS at the kernel level, scary. Another reason to use Linux or a Mac.
    Reply
  • Regulas
    Kernel level attachment gives the FEDS their back door to your computer.
    Reply
  • NapoleonDK
    I understand a little about code execution and pointers and data structures/tables ect from back in high school, but what exactly does "remote code execution" mean?

    In my circle of friends it's mostly just twisted around into a dirty joke...

    Bill: "I'll remotely execute YOUR code!"
    Ted: "I'll remotely execute your MOM'S code!"
    Bill: "I'm gonna remotely execute YOUR FACE right now!"

    Admin: "If you two don't calm down, I'll remotely execute all your base, then lock and sticky this as an example of why today's games all cater towards console kiddies!!!"
    Reply
  • brendano257
    In other news: The only way to fix IE is to change to Firefox or Chrome. Any other method is avoiding the fact that IE is just an awful browser.
    Reply
  • brendano257
    NapoleonDKI understand a little about code execution and pointers and data structures/tables ect from back in high school, but what exactly does "remote code execution" mean?"
    Remote Code Execution: Someone is running code on your computer through another computer/network/system. So they can run what they want on your computer without sitting in that chair, that's all it is.
    Reply
  • NapoleonDK
    brendano257...that's all it is.Appreciate it man, have a nice one. +1

    So say someone has this remote capability, what are they gonna do with it? What's the goal? Initiate file transfer/download botnet client? And why do people pursue vulnerabilities like this? Is there money in it for them? Or are they just doing it to be a pain in the nethers?
    Reply