By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
February 26, 2007
Microsoft is investigating two recently disclosed security
vulnerabilities that affect Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista, the
company said Monday.
The vulnerabilities aren't considered high-risk, yet they affect the
latest releases of Microsoft's Web browser and operating system
software. Microsoft has promoted the security of both IE 7 and Windows
Vista. The flaws could let attackers get their hands on sensitive user
information, security experts have warned.
The French Security Incident Response Team said in an alert that the IE
vulnerability, which also affects IE 6, could be exploited in phishing
attacks, scams that try to trick people into giving up sensitive
information such as credit card data and Social Security numbers. The
problem exists because of an error in the way the browser handles
certain "onunload" events, the security monitoring company said.
Attackers could exploit the issue to spoof the browser address bar,
The Windows issue is due to a problem with a component that does not
properly validate user permissions. This could be exploited by an
attacker with access to the machine to get information on protected
files, according to a second FrSirt alert. The problem affects Windows
Vista, XP, 2000 and Windows Server 2003, FrSirt said.
Microsoft is looking into both vulnerabilities, which were made public
last week. Neither of the flaws has been used in any attacks and
exploiting the issues is hard, a company representative said.
The IE flaw could only be exploited if an attacker were to lure a victim
to a malicious Web site and then persuade the user to enter the address
of a trusted site into the address bar. "Customers can avoid this attack
by opening and using a new instance of IE before visiting an untrusted
site," Microsoft said.
The Windows problem, aside from requiring the attacker to be logged on
to the vulnerable computer, appears to only expose file information, not
the actual contents of the file, Microsoft said.
Upon completion of its investigations, Microsoft may issue a security
advisory or provide security updates through its monthly patch process,
the representative said.
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