IE Update Fixes Multiple “Use After Free” Vulnerabilities

Severity: High

Summary:

  • These vulnerabilities affect: Most current versions of Internet Explorer (IE)
  • How an attacker exploits them: By enticing one of your users to visit a malicious web page
  • Impact: An attacker can execute code on your user’s computer, often gaining complete control of it
  • What to do: Install Microsoft’s IE updates immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you

Exposure:

As part of today’s Patch Day, Microsoft released a security bulletin describing nine new security vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer (IE). Similar to the last  few IE updates, all nine of these security flaws are what developers call “use after free” vulnerabilities, which are types of memory corruption flaws that attackers can leverage to execute arbitrary code. They all have to do with how IE handles various HTML objects and elements. If an attacker can lure one of your users to a web page containing maliciously crafted HTML, he could exploit any one of these vulnerabilities to execute code on that user’s computer, inheriting that user’s privileges. Typically, Windows users have local administrative privileges, in which case the attacker can exploit these flaws to gain complete control of the victim’s computer.

If you’d like more technical detail about these flaws, see the “Vulnerability Information” section of Microsoft’s bulletin. Details aside, all of these remote code execution flaws pose significant risk to IE users, and allow attackers to launch drive-by download attacks. Attackers often hijack legitimate web sites and force them to serve this kind of malicious web code. So these types of flaws may affect you even when visiting legitimate, trusted web sites.

If you use IE, you should download and install Microsoft’s cumulative update immediately.

Solution Path:

You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate IE updates immediately, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you. You can find links to the various IE updates in the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of Microsoft’s IE security bulletin.

For All WatchGuard Users:

WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus and Intrusion Prevention services can often prevent these sorts of attacks, or the malware they try to distribute.

More specifically, our IPS signature team has developed new signatures, which can detect and block a number of these new IE vulnerabilities:

  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer GetMarkupPtr Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0092)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer CTreeNode Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-1288)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer CElement Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0091)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer OnResize Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0087)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer saveHistory Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0088)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer CMarkupBehaviorContext Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0089)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer CCaret Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0090)
  • WEB-CLIENT Microsoft Internet Explorer removeChild Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2013-0094)

Nonetheless, we still recommend you install Microsoft’s IE update to completely protect yourself from these vulnerabilities.

Status:

Microsoft has released patches to fix these vulnerabilities.

References:

This alert was researched and written by Corey Nachreiner, CISSP (@SecAdept).

About Corey Nachreiner

Corey Nachreiner has been with WatchGuard since 1999 and has since written more than a thousand concise security alerts and easily-understood educational articles for WatchGuard users. His security training videos have generated hundreds of letters of praise from thankful customers and accumulated more than 100,000 views on YouTube and Google Video. A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Corey speaks internationally and is often quoted by other online sources, including C|NET, eWeek, and Slashdot. Corey enjoys "modding" any technical gizmo he can get his hands on, and considers himself a hacker in the old sense of the word.

5 Responses to “IE Update Fixes Multiple “Use After Free” Vulnerabilities”

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