Microsoft offers patch for six IE flaws

Microsoft Corp. has released a patch to fix six vulnerabilities, three of which are ranked "critical," that have shown up in its Internet Explorer (IE) browser software.

According to the company's bulletin, the flaws can allow attackers to access information on victim's machines and launch attacks using cross-site scripting.

The bulletin says that if an attacker hosts a Web site or sends an HTML-based e-mail message and a victim either views the site or clicks on an infected Web site address, the attacker can then place a malicious program on the victim's machine.

Other vulnerabilities would allow an attacker to do the following things:

-- Read but not change data on a target computer if the attacker knows the location of specific files.

-- Read cookies on another person's computer, provided the attacker knows the exact name of the cookies targeted.

-- Change the security settings on a victim's browser.

-- Trick a victim's browser into accepting malformed files, provided the attacker knows the victim has a vulnerable application running on his machine.

-- Send HTML e-mail to automatically open new windows or to launch the download of an executable file.

In addition to tackling the six flaws, the patch will eliminate all previously reported vulnerabilities with IE 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0, Microsoft said.

Patches can be found at http://www.computerworld.com.au/IDG2.NSF/a/0006CE2A?OpenDocument&n=e&c=Sa

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Brian Sullivan

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