Microsoft releases patch to plug IE vulnerability

As expected, Microsoft Wednesday released an out-of-cycle security bulletin and patch designed to fix a critical hole in the Internet Explorer Web browser that is already being widely exploited by attackers. The company also announced a change to Windows Update for three previously issued fixes from October for some users of Windows XP Service Pack 1.

The vulnerability addressed by Microsoft's latest bulletin, MS04-040, was first disclosed on Oct. 24 and exists in the iFrame tags of Internet Explorer. The buffer overflow flaw allows attackers to take complete control of a compromised system and can be exploited by getting users to visit Web sites where malicious code can be downloaded.

A proof-of-concept exploit named Bofra that takes advantage of the iFrame flaw has been available for several days and was used in launching attacks via banner ads last week that redirected users to rogue Web sites.

"We are aware of some proof-of-concept code and public attacks" that take advantage of the flaw, said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager at Microsoft's security response center. That's why Microsoft is urging users to apply the latest patch as soon as possible, he added.

The flaw doesn't affect users who have already installed XP SP2, he said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft today reissued three of its fixes from October for users of SP1 who may not have been offered the updates earlier. The problem involves SP1 users who may have downloaded the SP2 patch but have not installed it on their computers yet.

Microsoft's Windows Update and Automatic Updates service wouldnt have offered the October fixes automatically to such users, Toulouse said. Today's updates fixes the problem for those users.

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.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

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.

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?