Zero Day Vulnarability for Internet Explorer
Over the years most of you have been inundated with buzz words like virus, spyware, worm, trojan, rootkit and over the last year Zero Day has been popular. The zero-day term refers to an attack or virus which is previously unknown so no patch or virus defination is available to catch it on day zero. It won’t be caught by your antivirus scanner because they don’t know about it yet.
A Zero Day “Vulnerability” is the worst. This attack uses a flaw in a program such as the browser that allows code to execute with no warning to a user. You don’t have to be tricked into downloading anything. All you need to do is to visit a web site or in some cases just be connected to the internet. The only protection will be programs like WinPatrol that monitor for changes to your system.
This week Microsoft has released an advisory to protect users until a patch is available. Click “Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution”. Microsoft advises some pretty serious work arounds including.
- Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to "High" to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones
- Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone
- Disable XML Island functionality
- Restrict Internet Explorer from using OLEDB32.dll with an Integrity Level ACL
- Disable Row Position functionality of OLEDB32.dll
- Unregister OLEDB32.DLL
- Use ACL to disable OLEDB32.DLL
- Enable DEP for Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista and on Windows Server 2008
- Disable Data Binding support in Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2
These are pretty drastic actions but this threat should be taken seriously. Most experts are recommending folks stop using Internet Explorer completely until Microsoft has a patch available. I’m among those experts who also recommends finding a new browser for a while. Personally, I’ve become a fan of Google Chrome which is now out of beta and has an official version 1.
Alternate Browsers in order of my preference:
Update: Microsoft has released an emergency patch to fix this serious vulnerability. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms08-078.mspx
Download Apple Safari (You may have already be tricked into installing this along with iTunes)