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CIS CYBER SECURITY ADVISORY - Zero Day Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution - RISK: HIGH

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) has posted an advisory for an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 9 and 10.  CIS recommends the following precautions:

 ·      Consider using an alternate browser until a patch is made available for the vulnerable versions of Internet Explorer.
·      Upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 after appropriate testing, until a security update has been released that fixes this issue.
·      Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
·      Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.

Special care should be taken when visiting military related web sites.  FireEye reports an attack expoiting the vulnerability has been delivered by visiting the "U.S. Veterans of Foreign Wars’ website (vfw[.]org). We believe the attack is a strategic Web compromise targeting American military personnel amid a paralyzing snowstorm at the U.S. Capitol in the days leading up to the Presidents Day holiday weekend."

An unrelated scam targeting military personnel recently lured people to a fake military benefits web site. 

 

Here is the full advisory:

 

TLP:WHITE
 
CIS CYBER SECURITY ADVISORY
 
CIS ADVISORY NUMBER:
2014-013
 
DATE(S) ISSUED:
02/14/2014
 
SUBJECT:
Zero DayVulnerability in Internet Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer, which could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
 
THREAT INTELLIGENCE:
It should be noted that there is currently no patch available for this vulnerability and it is currently being exploited in the wild. Microsoft is reporting targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability in Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10.  Multiple vendors are reporting that various compromised sites are serving this zero-day exploit up. It is believed the actors behind this campaign are associated with two previously identified campaigns (Operation DeputyDog and Operation Ephemeral Hydra).
 
SYSTEMS AFFECTED:
·      Microsoft Internet Explorer 9
·      Microsoft Internet Explorer 10
 
RISK:
Government:
·      Large and medium government entities: High
·      Small government entities: High
 
Businesses:
·      Large and medium business entities: High
·      Small business entities: High
 
Home users: High
 
TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
A vulnerability has been reported that affects all versions of Internet Explorer that could allow for remote code execution. This vulnerability exists due to 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 designed to take advantage of this vulnerability, and then convince or trick an unsuspecting user to visit their site.
 
Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
 
It should be noted that there is currently no patch available for this vulnerability and it is currently being exploited in the wild.  Microsoft is reporting targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability in Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10.
 
It has been reported that Internet Explorer 11 is not affected by this vulnerability.
 
RECOMMENDATIONS:
·      We recommend the following actions be taken:            
·      Consider using an alternate browser until a patch is made available for the vulnerable versions of Internet Explorer.
·      Upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 after appropriate testing, until a security update has been released that fixes this issue.
·      Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
·      Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
 
REFERENCES:
Fireeye:
http://www.fireeye.com/blog/uncategorized/2014/02/operation-snowman-deputydog-actor-compromises-us-veterans-of-foreign-wars-website.html
 
Websense:
http://community.websense.com/blogs/securitylabs/archive/2014/02/14/msie-0-day-exploit-cve-2014-0322-possibly-targeting-french-aerospace-organization.aspx
 
CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-0322
 
SecurityFocus:
http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/65551
 
The Center for Internet Security (CIS)
Security Operation Center
31 Tech Valley Drive
East Greenbush, NY 12061
518-266-3488
7x24 SOC 1-866-787-4722
 
TLP:WHITE
Traffic Light Protocol (TLP): WHITE information may be distributed without restriction, subject to copyright controls.
http://www.us-cert.gov/tlp/
 
 
 
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