New Zero-Day Vulnerability for Internet Explorer

Today, Microsoft announced a new Security Advisory affecting Internet Explorer. Security Advisory 2458511 affects all supported versions of Internet Explorer. Navigating to a malicious website could lead to remote code execution.

The reported attacks for this vulnerability have been limited to date. In fact, the known websites hosting the exploit have been taken down. There could be more websites coming online at any time with a zero-day vulnerability.

With the time closing in on the November patch Tuesday, it is unlikely we will see a patch for this vulnerability in the scheduled monthly updates. If reports of attacks against this vulnerability increase, we can expect to see an out-of-band patch for the vulnerability.

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In the mean time, there are some steps you can take to reduce the risk of this zero-day vulnerability:

  • Upgrading to the latest supported version of Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer 8 has built in defenses to help mitigate vulnerability.
  • Enable DEP (Data Execution Prevention) for Internet Explorer. The following versions of browsers and operating systems have DEP enabled by default:
    Internet Explorer 8 on Windows XP Service Pack 3,
    Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and later,
    Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Server 2008, and
    Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7.
  • For earlier versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has provided a Fix it tool to enable DEP.

Microsoft’s Security Research & Defense Center has put up a very nice page talking specifically about DEP. Be sure to check this out if you need to apply DEP workarounds until a patch is available.

This vulnerability is just another prime example of why you should look at upgrading your software to the latest version. New versions of software often contain enhanced features that can make it more difficult to exploit.

Stay tuned as I am sure more information regarding this vulnerability will be available in the coming days.

Shavlik

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