New Explorer hole very critical

An "extremely critical" hole in Internet Explorer may ruin Christmas for Microsoft and thousands of its customers, IDG has learned.

The exploit can give system access to an intruder and allow them to install any code onto a host computer if that person simply visits a website with malicious coding on it. It bypasses security and could easily result in the release of sensitive information.

Microsoft has not been informed of the exploit and the details are now in the public domain, making the situation all the more risky. Security company Secunia.com found the exploit posted on a public mailing list by Chinese researcher, Liu Die Yu, and has given it a rating of 4 out of 5.

Secunia CTO, Thomas Kristensen, said that due to Microsoft's new policy of monthly security updates and patches, it may not be until January that exploit was dealt with.

"Microsoft tends to take its time to resolve an issue to release a solid patch," he said. "At the moment they will be working on patches for December so there may be nothing until January - unfortunately for users."

A Microsoft spokesperson said that if the company felt the exploit was critical, it would make an exception to the normal monthly patches. There is no word yet as to how seriously the company is taking the issue.

Meanwhile, Kristensen warns that one of the holes is very similar to that which was exploited by the extremely damaging Nimbda virus.

According to Secunia's advisory:

  • A redirection feature can bypass Explorer security that stops files on a foreign website from being run.
  • That hole means a malicious file can be downloaded and run on a user's system.
  • A cross-site script hole could allow the same file to be run within a user's protected My Computer area, yielding sensitive information.
  • A previously fixed vulnerability can still be exploited so limited control over the computer can be achieved.
  • A user's cache can be assessed with an invalid header field.

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.

Kieren McCarthy

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?