By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
July 27, 2009
Microsoft has been forced to issue emergency patches for its Windows
operating system after researchers discovered a way to bypass a critical
security mechanism in the Internet Explorer browser.
During a Wednesday talk at this week's Black Hat conference in Las
Vegas, researchers Mark Dowd, Ryan Smith and David Dewey will show a way
of bypassing the 'kill-bit' mechanism used to disable buggy ActiveX
controls. A video demonstration posted by Smith shows how the
researchers were able to bypass the mechanism, which checks for ActiveX
controls that are not allowed to run on Windows. They were able to then
exploit a buggy ActiveX control in order to run an unauthorized program
on a victim's computer.
Although the researchers have not revealed the technical details behind
their work, this bug could be a big deal, giving hackers a way of
exploiting ActiveX problems that were previously thought to have been
mitigated via kill-bits.
"It's huge because then you can execute controls on the box that weren't
intended to be executed," said Eric Schultze, chief technology officer
with Shavlik Technologies. "So by visiting an evil Web site [criminals]
can do anything they want even though I've applied the patch. "
Attend Black Hat USA, July 25-30 in Las Vegas,
the world's premier technical event for ICT security experts.
Network with 4,000+ delegates from 50 nations.
Visit product displays by 30 top sponsors in
a relaxed setting. http://www.blackhat.com