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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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Posted January 28, 2015    Scott Lang

Vormetric Data Security recently released an insider threat report, with research conducted by HarrisPoll and analyzed by Ovum. Based on the survey responses, it is apparent that there is still a great deal of insecurity over data. However, the results also show that there may be misplaced investments to address those insecurities. I will explain…

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GHOST Vulnerability…Scary Indeed

Posted January 28, 2015    BeyondTrust Research Team

A vulnerability discovered by Qualys security researchers has surfaced within the GNU C Library that affects virtually all Linux operating systems. The vulnerability lies within the various gethostbyname*() functions and, as such, has been dubbed “GHOST.” GHOST is particularly nasty considering remote, arbitrary code execution can be achieved. In an effort to avoid taxing DNS lookups, glibc developers introduced…

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Your New Years Resolution: Controlling Privileged Users

Posted January 27, 2015    Dave Shackleford

Is 2015 the year you get a better handle on security? The news last year was grim – so much so, in fact, that many in the information security community despaired a bit. Really, the end-of-the-year infosec cocktail parties were a bit glum. OK, let’s be honest, infosec cocktail parties are usually not that wild…

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