Update: US-CERT Records Internet Explorer Security Advisory

Dec 16, 2008

An unpatched security hole in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser has triggered an advisory that is now recorded with the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT).

Microsoft's security advisory was recorded with US-CERT as VU#493881 on December 11. Vulnerability was found in IE 7, but IE 5.01 SP4, IE 6 and IE 8 Beta2 are also potentially affected. The Vulnerability Note includes a number of possible workarounds.

The actual Security Advisory 961051 from Microsoft also includes the so-called Disable XML Island and Disable Row Position functionality workarounds. The problem came about through an error in the browser's XML parser that can cause IE to exit unexpectedly in a state that is exploitable from a specially prepared website. IE users affected by the bug will need to wait until the next monthly security update from Microsoft.

Update: Microsoft has since released a Security Bulletin Summary so that users don't need to wait until the next monthly update In January. The bulletin with the out-of-band patch covers two security issues, including the XML parser bug described in this article. Microsoft, in their usual fashion, accompanied the to-do with webcasts and advance notification.

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