IE worries continue with critical bug

Security researchers are concerned about a newly disclosed IE bug -- the third to be discovered in a week.

Security researchers have given Microsoft more work to do as it prepares an upcoming Internet Explorer (IE) security fix. On Wednesday, they disclosed a critical vulnerability in Microsoft's browser -- the third flaw to be disclosed in the past week.

This bug is rated critical because it could allow an attacker to seize control of a victim's machine, according to U.K.-based Computer Terrorism, which posted an advisory on the flaw.

The problem relates to the way that IE processes information using the createTextRange() method. By presenting the browser with specially crafted code, attackers could corrupt the system's memory and trick it into running unauthorized software.

Computer Terrorism did not release sample code showing how the bug works, but the security researchers did post some details of the problem to the Full Disclosure mailing list on Wednesday.

The Computer Terrorism researchers said they had produced a "reliable proof of concept" for this vulnerability that had been tested on IE 6 and the new IE 7 beta 2 release running on the latest version of Windows XP.

Microsoft is working on a patch for the bug, according to Secunia, which has also published an advisory on the vulnerability. Secunia rates the issue as "highly critical."

Microsoft has two other IE flaws to consider as it readies its next round of security patches, scheduled for April 11.

One of these bugs, which was disclosed Tuesday, is considered critical because it could also be used to seize control of a system. The second bug, published last Thursday, is considered less critical, but it can cause IE to crash.

This latest vulnerability appears to be the most significant of the three, because it can apparently be exploited without difficulty, according to one security researcher. "This seems very likely to be exploited soon," said Cesar Cerrudo, chief executive officer of security research firm Argeniss.

With the information that has already been made public about the createTextRange() flaw, "you can reproduce the IE crash and by playing with IE then you can build an exploit," Cerrudo said.

Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that it is working on an IE security update. "That update is currently in our testing process and could come out as early as April," said Stephen Toulouse, a security program manager with Microsoft's security response center. "However, there's no firm date."

Representatives from the company were not immediately available Wednesday to comment on the createTextRange() vulnerability.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?