Microsoft Security Advisory (2757760)
Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012 | Updated:Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Microsoft is investigating public reports of a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, and Internet Explorer 9. Internet Explorer 10 is not affected. Microsoft is aware of targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability. Applying the Microsoft Fix it solution, "Prevent Memory Corruption via ExecCommand in Internet Explorer," prevents the exploitation of this issue. See the Suggested Actions section of this advisory for more information.
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.
On completion of this investigation, Microsoft will take the appropriate action to protect our customers, which may include providing a solution through our monthly security update release process, or an out-of-cycle security update, depending on customer needs.
We are actively working with partners in our Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) to provide information that they can use to provide broader protections to customers. In addition, we are actively working with partners to monitor the threat landscape and take action against malicious sites that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.
Microsoft continues to encourage customers to follow the guidance in the Microsoft Safety & Security Center of enabling a firewall, applying all software updates and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 runs in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. This mode mitigates this vulnerability.
- By default, all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, and Windows Mail open HTML email messages in the Restricted sites zone. The Restricted sites zone, which disables script and ActiveX controls, helps reduce the risk of an attacker being able to use this vulnerability to execute malicious code. If a user clicks a link in an email message, the user could still be vulnerable to exploitation of this vulnerability through the web-based attack scenario.
- An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
- In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a webpage that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these websites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's website.
Download the fixit from Microsoft here.