Microsoft releases fix-it for Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability

The vulnerability was used by attackers last week against the U.S. Department of Labor

Microsoft has released a temporary fix for a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8, which was used by hackers in a prominent attack against the U.S. Department of Labor's website.

The problem is particularly dangerous since it can allow an attacker to install malware merely by visiting a tampered web page. Microsoft is still working on a patch, wrote Dustin Childs, group manager for the company's Trustworthy Computing division.

"Customers should apply the Fix it or follow the workarounds listed in the advisory to help protect against the known attacks," Childs said in a statement.

The vulnerability is described as a problem in the way IE "accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated." IE versions 6, 7, 9 and 10 are not affected.

Microsoft calls the fix "CVE-2013-1347 MSHTML Shim Workaround." The company normally issues updates for its products on the second Tuesday of the month, but will issue an out-of-schedule patch if the problem is deemed serious enough.

Security vendors Invincea and AlienVault found that hackers planted attack code within a U.S. Labor Department web page with information on toxic substances at U.S. Department of Energy facilities.

The code redirected people to another infected page within the site, which then attempted to exploit the IE 8 vulnerability. AlienVault said the hacking campaign appeared similar to a known China-based one called "DeepPanda," which installed remote-access trojans (RATs).

A large Fortune 500 company was attacked in December 2011 by DeepPanda, AlienVault said.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesMicrosoftsecurityAlienVaultInvinceaExploits / vulnerabilities

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?