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Cybersecurity Group Raises IE Threat Level To Yellow

Cybersecurity Group Raises IE Threat Level To Yellow
September 23, 2013 12:01PM

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The Internet Explorer vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow a hacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Microsoft's browser. An attacker could then host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and convince a user to view the Web site.

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The Internet Storm Center, an analysis and warning service to Internet users and organizations, on Saturday set its threat level to Yellow, regarding attacks exploiting a vulnerability in all versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser that was reported last week.

The ISC decided on the Yellow threat level over the weekend after getting reports of attacks on the rise. "The Internet Storm Center is beginning to see increasing evidence of exploits in the wild regarding Microsoft Security Advisory 2887505," a post on the ISC Web site said. "Accordingly, we're moving the InfoCon up to Yellow."

Meanwhile, FireEye, a Milpitas, California-based security company, made note of a campaign targeting organizations in Japan and leveraging the exploit, a campaign that had started in August.

Threat level "Yellow" at the ISC is two levels below ISC's Red, the organization's highest threat level. Yellow means the impact of the threat is either unknown or expected to be minor to the infrastructure. However, local impact could be significant, and users are advised to take actions. Orange signifies a major disruption in connectivity is in progress or imminent. Red means loss of connectivity across a large part of the Internet.

Scanner Sightings

The ISC said, "It appears that an exploit has been in the wild since August 29, 2013 when it was first seen by one of the online security scanners. There is some indication that a weaponized exploit may be in broader circulation now, so expect this to ramp up quickly."

FireEye reported that the campaign, "Operation DeputyDog," bore similarities to infrastructure deployed in the attack on New England company Bit9, a leading provider of software and network security services, earlier this year. FireEye further noted that the DeputyDog attackers have demonstrated "a robust set of malware payloads."

Microsoft has been investigating the reports of the vulnerability and has directed users toward a Microsoft Fix it solution, to be downloaded and run by users, for customer protection until a definitive update is released next month.

The next Patch Tuesday is scheduled for October 8. Some security watchers, however, believe there could be more signs of the exploit in upcoming weeks. If attacks were to rise, Microsoft could possibly deliver an out-of-cycle security update ahead of the patch on October 8. Meanwhile, after Microsoft issued its alert, researchers at Websense estimated that close to 70 percent of Windows-based PCs are vulnerable to the IE zero-day exploit. (continued...)

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Patrick Rafter:

Posted: 2013-10-22 @ 5:32am PT
Nancy-- Cyberthreats for users of Android phones and mobile devices also on the upswing. Check out a company/product called SnoopWall that just announced its public beta of "countersurveillance" software at the DEMO conference last week: www.snoopwall.com. Thanks



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