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Land of the Rising IE 0day

Posted September 17, 2013    BeyondTrust Research Team

A new Internet Explorer zeroday has surfaced that affects every supported version of Internet Explorer. It has been observed in the wild in targeted attacks in Japan. Current attacks are focusing on exploiting Internet Explorer 8 and 9 on Windows XP and 7 machines.

This is a use-after-free vulnerability in mshtml.dll, which is a DLL used by Windows to present HTML content to the user. The current exploitation vector relies on an extremely common Microsoft Office DLL, hxds.dll, which was compiled without address space layout randomization (ASLR) support. Attackers use DLLs like this to be able to more easily exploit a system, allowing them to execute arbitrary code at will.

To help mitigate this vulnerability, Microsoft has released a Fix it, which can be found here. Additionally, EMET 4.0 can be used to mitigate this vulnerability, as well as others.

Because the Fix it has been released, as well as a detailed blog post by Microsoft discussing the vulnerability, attackers will be able to deduce where the vulnerability lies, which greatly increases the likelihood of seeing this vulnerability exploited in areas outside of Japan. We expect to see this vulnerability incorporated into exploit frameworks in the near future.

The exploitation of this vulnerability is mitigated by built-in memory protections utilized by PowerBroker Endpoint Protection Platform, and is detected by Retina in the following audits:
30541 – Microsoft Internet Explorer MSHTML NULL_IMPORT_DESCRIPTOR (Zero-Day)
30542 – Microsoft Internet Explorer MSHTML NULL_IMPORT_DESCRIPTOR (Zero-Day) – x64

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Additional articles

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How to Audit VMware ESX and ESXi Servers Against the VMware Hardening Guidelines with Retina CS

Posted February 27, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

Retina CS Enterprise Vulnerability Management has included advanced VMware auditing capabilities for some time, including virtual machine discovery and scanning through a cloud connection, plus the ability to scan ESX and ESXi hosts using SSH. However, in response to recent security concerns associated with SSH, VMware has disabled SSH by default in its more recent…

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Privileged Passwords: The Bane of Security Professionals Everywhere

Posted February 19, 2015    Dave Shackleford

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Privileged Account Management Process

In Vulnerability Management, Process is King

Posted February 18, 2015    Morey Haber

You have a vulnerability scanner, but where’s your process? Most organizations are rightly concerned about possible vulnerabilities in their systems, applications, networked devices, and other digital assets and infrastructure components. Identifying vulnerabilities is indeed important, and most security professionals have some kind of scanning solution in place. But what is most essential to understand is…

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