First bug found for Internet Explorer Beta 2

A security researcher on Tuesday discovered a bug just hours after Microsoft released the Beta 2 preview of Internet Explorer 7.

An independent researcher needed just 15 minutes to find the first bug in the Beta 2 preview release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 browser.

Tom Ferris, of Mission Viejo, California, published his findings Tuesday just hours after Microsoft released the beta code. His findings are posted at http://www.security-protocols.com/advisory/sp-x23-advisory.txt. Ferris discovered the bug, which causes Internet Explorer (IE) to crash when it tries to read a specially crafted HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) file, using an automated security testing tool, called a "fuzzer" that he wrote to test Microsoft's browsers.

"Whenever they patch, I normally run IE through the fuzzing iterations, just to see if there [is something new]," he said. Ferris posted his findings at 8:30 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, the same day IE Beta 2 was released, he said.

Right now the bug can be exploited only to crash the browser, but Ferris says it's likely that his attack could eventually be modified to run unauthorized code on a user's machine.

The vulnerability appears to be exclusive to Internet Explorer Beta 2 browser, he said. "This is a completely new bug. I've never actually seen this in any browser before."

Microsoft was not immediately able to comment on Ferris's findings. A spokeswoman for the company's public relations agency said Microsoft is "looking into this."

Ferris has previously discovered bugs in the Firefox and Safari browsers, as well as in Windows XP, but even he was surprised at the quickness with which this latest vulnerability popped up.

Ferris's discovery is one of the quickest such bug-findings on record, said Mikko Hypponen, manager of antivirus research at F-Secure in Helsinki. "It's probably the fastest from launch to exploit that I've ever heard about," he said.

Microsoft spent millions to improve its software development process to make it more secure. The company has promoted Internet Explorer Beta 2 as a more secure product. But Ferris believes that his research shows that the software giant still has work to do in this area.

"I think that they're still lacking very common security testing methods. I looked at it for 15 minutes and I was able to find a clean bug," he said. "They still have a lot of work to do."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?