Another IE 5 security flaw found

Microsoft might consider putting Bulgarian programmer Georgi Guninski on the payroll. The software maker has acknowledged that Guninski discovered yet a third security flaw in Internet Explorer 5 browser software.

The latest flaw, under certain circumstances, would allow a Web site operator to access and read contents of files and folders on the computers of users, Microsoft said in a security bulletin posted online Monday. The Web site operator would have to know the name of the file and the folder in which it was located in order to access it, and would not be able to list folder contents or create, modify or delete files, according to Microsoft.

The company is working on a patch for the flaw, but in the meantime is suggesting that users disable active scripting in the Internet zone, an IE security zone in which all Internet Web sites are automatically categorised.

IE 5 restricts the actions that a Web site can take on computers of visitors. "When software on the Web server requests that particular action be taken on a visiting computer, IE examines it and only allows the request to be made if it's appropriate. However, not all of the checks are present if the requesting software lies within an IFRAME. Specifically, certain requests that are made via a scripting method called ExecCommand() are not properly bounded if invoked on an IFRAME," according to a question-and-answer section about the latest flaw posted on the Microsoft Web site.

An IFRAME is a sub window within the main browser window, and is viewed by the software running in it as its own window, working separately from the main window, Microsoft said.

To disable active scripting in the Internet zone, users should:

-- While in IE 5, select "tools," then "Internet options." Click on the "security" tab.

-- Go to the box labelled "select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings" and click on "Internet" and then "custom level."

-- Scroll down to "scripting," which is a major heading and then locate the minor heading called "active scripting." Click the "disabled" button under "active scripting."

-- Click twice on "OK" to accept the changes.

Users also are being encouraged by Microsoft to add Web sites to the security zone called the Trusted Zone, containing sites that users trust will not take malicious action against user computers.

Additional information about the flaw can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/MS99-042faq.asp or at http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.asp.

The security bulletin from Microsoft acknowledges Guninski's role in bringing the problem to light.

Last month, he was credited for finding the second security flaw he has uncovered in IE 5. That flaw could allow a malicious Web site operator to read files on user computers or on other computers in the user's local intranet. The flaw was found in the "download behavior" feature of IE 5.

A Microsoft spokesman could not be reached to comment about the latest flaw or to provide information about whether any Web users appear to have used the bug to access data on users' computers.

Join the newsletter!

Or
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.

Nancy Weil

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

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.

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?