Security Research & Defense
Information from Microsoft about vulnerabilities, mitigations and workarounds, active attacks, security research, tools and guidance
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Attack Surface Reduction
Internet Explorer (IE)
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safe for initialization
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internet explorer (ie)
Reports of DEP being bypassed
Yesterday we heard reports of a commercially available exploit that bypasses DEP. This exploit was made available to a limited number of major security vendors (Antivirus, IDS, and IPS vendors) and government CERT agencies. We wanted to use this opportunity to give an overview of current customer risk...
20 Jan 2010
New vulnerability affecting Internet Explorer 8 users
Today, the MSRC released Security Advisory 2794220 alerting customers to limited, targeted attacks affecting customers using Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8. Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 users are safe. More information about the vulnerability and exploit In this particular vulnerability...
29 Dec 2012
New Internet Explorer vulnerability affecting all versions of IE
Today we released Security Advisory 2488013 to notify customers of a new publicly-disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE). This vulnerability affects all versions of IE. Exploiting this vulnerability could lead to unauthorized remote code execution inside the iexplore.exe process. Proof...
23 Dec 2010
Internet Explorer Mitigations for ATL Data Stream Vulnerabilities
IE security update MS09-034 implements two defense-in-depth measures intended to mitigate the threat of attacks which attempt to exploit the Microsoft Active Template Library (ATL) vulnerabilities described in Security Advisory 973882 and MS09-034 . We would like to explain these mitigations in more...
28 Jul 2009
Behavior of ActiveX controls embedded in Office documents
The Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) have built-in ActiveX control support. ActiveX support allows a richer experience when interacting with an Office document. For example, a document author could use the Safe-For-Initialization Office Web Components (OWC) ActiveX control...
3 Mar 2009
MS11-018 addresses the IE8 pwn2own vulnerability
Today Microsoft released MS11-018 addressing one of the three vulnerabilities that were used to win the Pwn2Own contest last month at CanSecWest 2011. It took three vulnerabilities to successfully compromise IE8 and meet all the requirements of the organizers. The vulnerability we are fixing today...
12 Apr 2011
Clarification on the various workarounds from the recent IE advisory
Today Microsoft revised the Workarounds section of Security Advisory 961051 . We wanted to share more detail about the vulnerability and explain the additional workarounds here to help you protect your computers. Information about the vulnerability The vulnerability is caused by memory corruption...
13 Dec 2008
MS11-050: IE9 is better
Today, we released MS11-050, a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer to address several vulnerabilities in IE9. The following table lists the CVEs included in MS11-050, and whether each affects IE8 or IE9. CVE Rating IE8 IE9 CVE-2011-1246 Moderate Yes...
14 Jun 2011
IE 8 XSS Filter Architecture / Implementation
Recently we announced the Internet Explorer 8 XSS Filter and talked a bit about its design philosophy . This post will describe the filter’s architecture and implementation in more detail. Design Goals The Internet Explorer 8 XSS Filter is intended to mitigate reflected / “Type-1” XSS vulnerabilities...
20 Aug 2008
The MSHTML Host Security FAQ: Part I of II
MSHTML, a.k.a. Trident, is the Internet Explorer browser rendering engine. MSHTML is a great solution for rendering HTML content, either in the context of a web browser, or simply to display rich UI in an application. You are likely not even aware of some of the many ways MSHTML is hosted within Windows...
3 Apr 2009
MSVIDCTL (MS09-032) and the ATL vulnerability
Today we have released Security Advisory 973882 that describes vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Active Template Library (ATL), as well as security updates for Internet Explorer ( MS09-034 ) and Visual Studio ( MS09-035 ). The Visual Studio update addresses several vulnerabilities in the public versions...
28 Jul 2009
Running in the wild, not for so long
Over the weekend we received a report from our partners about a possible unpatched Internet Explorer vulnerability being exploited in the wild. The exploit code uses a memory corruption bug triggered from a webpage but it deeply leverages a Flash SWF file in order to achieve reliable exploitation and...
11 Jul 2013
The Kill-Bit FAQ: Part 1 of 3
It is very common for Microsoft security bulletins to include “Kill-Bits” to disable individual ActiveX controls / COM objects. Here is the first part of a three-part FAQ we have developed to answer some questions around the Kill-Bit and related functionality. The Kill-Bit FAQ – Part 1 of 3 What...
6 Feb 2008
MS09-014: Addressing the Safari Carpet Bomb vulnerability
Following up on Security Advisory 953818 , today we released MS09-014 , rated as Moderate, which addresses aspects of the Safari Carpet Bomb vulnerability. On a Windows operating system this vulnerability allows an attacker, through Safari, to drop arbitrary files on a user’s desktop. As of Safari 3...
14 Apr 2009
Stack overflow (stack exhaustion) not the same as stack buffer overflow
Periodically we get reports into the MSRC of stack exhaustion in client-side applications such as Internet Explorer, Word, etc. These are valid stability bugs that, fortunately, do not lead to an exploitable condition by itself (no potential for elevation of privilege). We wanted to clarify the distinction...
29 Jan 2009
Assessing the risk of the June security updates
Today we released 16 security bulletins. Nine have a maximum severity rating of Critical and seven have a maximum severity rating of Important. This release addresses several publicly disclosed vulnerabilities. We hope that the table below helps you prioritize the deployment of the updates appropriately...
14 Jun 2011
New workaround included in Security Advisory 2488013
We have just updated Security Advisory 2488013 for the publicly-disclosed Internet Explorer CSS vulnerability. It now reflects the fact that limited attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability are present in-the-wild. The advisory also includes a new workaround that can help protect your computers...
11 Jan 2011
MS09-019 (CVE-2009-1140): Benefits of IE Protected Mode, additional Network Protocol Lockdown workaround
Benefits of IE Protected Mode One of the vulnerabilities addressed in MS09-019 , CVE-2009-1140, involves navigating to a local file via a UNC path, ex: \\127.0.0.1\c$. This roundabout way of navigating to a file is necessary to execute local content such that it runs in the Internet Explorer Internet...
9 Jun 2009
Released build of Internet Explorer 8 blocks Dowd/Sotirov ASLR+DEP .NET bypass
Last summer at BlackHat Vegas, Alexander Sotirov and Mark Dowd outlined several clever ways to bypass the Windows Vista defense-in-depth protection combination of DEP and ASLR in attacks targeting Internet Explorer. One approach they presented allowed attackers to use .NET framework DLL’s to allocate...
23 Mar 2009
XSS Filter Improvements in IE8 RC1
On Monday IE8 RC1 was released . Here are some of the most interesting improvements and bug fixes to the XSS Filter feature: Some byte sequences enabled the filter to be bypassed, depending on system locale URLs containing certain byte sequences bypassed the Beta 2 filter implementation in some...
30 Jan 2009
Microsoft "Fix it" available to mitigate Internet Explorer 8 vulnerability
Today, we are making available a “Microsoft Fix it” solution to block attacks leveraging the Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) vulnerability described in Security Advisory 2847140 . This code-signed, easily downloadable and install-able Fix it package uses the Windows application compatibility toolkit...
9 May 2013
The Kill-Bit FAQ: Part 2 of 3
It is very common for Microsoft security bulletins to include “Kill-Bits” to disable individual ActiveX controls / COM objects. Here is the second part of our three-part Kill-Bit FAQ. The Kill-Bit FAQ – Part 2 of 3 How do ActiveX Controls, OLE Controls, and COM Objects relate...
7 Feb 2008
More information on Security Advisory 2757760's Fix It
Today, we revised Security Advisory 2757760 with two new pieces of information: A Fix It solution is available to address the vulnerability via an app-compat shim The comprehensive security update will be released out-of-band on Friday. In this blog post, we’d like to explain more...
19 Sep 2012
MS08-041 : The Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer ActiveX control
MS08-041 fixes a vulnerability in the Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer ActiveX control. It’s an interesting vulnerability so we wanted to go into more detail about platforms at reduced risk and also more about the servicing strategy for this vulnerability. Windows Vista at reduced risk? We first...
12 Aug 2008
The IE8 XSS Filter
Hello, our team and IE have recently collaborated on a new IE8 feature that was announced today – the XSS Filter. Check it out here: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2008/07/02/ie8-security-part-iv-the-xss-filter.aspx This effort demonstrates our commitment to helping our product teams benefit from...
2 Jul 2008
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