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Security Response

Zero-Day Internet Explorer Exploit Published

Created: 21 Nov 2009 13:05:59 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:31:09 GMT
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A new exploit targeting Internet Explorer was published to the BugTraq mailing list yesterday. Symantec has conducted further tests and confirmed that it affects Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7 as well. The exploit currently exhibits signs of poor reliability, but we expect that a fully-functional reliable exploit will be available in the near future.  When this happens, attackers will have the ability to insert the exploit into Web sites, infecting potential visitors.  For an attacker to launch a successful attack, they must lure victims to their malicious Web page or a Web site they have compromised. In both cases, the attack requires JavaScript to exploit Internet Explorer.

The exploit targets a vulnerability in the way Internet Explorer uses cascading style sheet (CSS) information. CSS is used in many Web pages to define the presentation of the sites’ content. Symantec currently detects the exploit with the Bloodhound.Exploit.129 antivirus signature and is working on new signatures now. Symantec IPS protection also currently detects this exploit with signatures HTTP Microsoft IE Generic Heap Spray BO and HTTP Malicious Javascript Heap Spray BO. A new IPS signature, HTTP IE Style Heap Spray BO, has also been created for this specific exploit. To minimize the chances of being affected by this issue, Internet Explorer users should ensure their antivirus definitions are up to date, disable JavaScript and only visit Web sites they trust until fixes are available from Microsoft.