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September 24, 2006

Microsoft considers an early patch for VML exploit

Posted by David Hunter at 10:58 PM ET.

The VML exploit we mentioned on Friday that leaves Outlook and Internet Explorer wide open to abuse now has Microsoft concerned enough to consider not waiting to provide a fix until the next patch Tuesday in October as Scott M. Fulton III reports at BetaNews:

Sophos Labs now rates as “critical” a re-emerging exploit to Microsoft’s Vector Markup Language (VML) library, which Microsoft now says it will try to patch before its original October 10 deadline, announced on Thursday. This comes as the SANS Group raises its InfoCon level officially to “yellow,” “to emphasize the need to consider fixes.”

The SunBeltBLOG points to a video of the live exploit in action at WebSense (explanation here). Actually there’s not that much to see – the user goes to the “wrong” web site, shuts down Internet Explorer, reopens it, and signs into PayPal. It takes a packet trace to see that his PayPal userid and password got stolen and sent off to another Internet site.

And it isn’t just sleazy web sites, since as Netcraft reports, web hosting company HostGator had a number of its servers compromised via a different exploit and otherwise innocent websites redirected to ones hosting the VML exploit. And yes, HTML email can infect users of Outlook too.

Filed under Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Office, Patch Tuesday, Security

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One Response to “Microsoft considers an early patch for VML exploit”

  1. Microsoft releases early patch for VML exploit -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft decided not to wait for October’s Patch Tuesday to release a fix for the particularly nasty VML exploit for Internet Explorer that I mentioned on Sunday. Robert McMillan at PCWorld: With attackers finding new ways to exploit a critical flaw in Internet Explorer, Microsoft today released a patch for the problem, ahead of its next scheduled round of security updates. [...]

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