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Fresh Security Bug Discovered in Internet Explorer 6 and 7

On March 9, 2010, Microsoft issued a warning about a security bug in the previous versions of Internet Explorer that enable hackers to remotely run the harmful code. The flaw facilitates remote attackers with access to the targeted system just like the local user.

It is noteworthy that while Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 are unaffected, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, and Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 are at risk.

The flaw is present because of an invalid pointer reference used within the Internet Explorer. Under some particular conditions, there is a possibility that the invalid pointer could be accessed after the deletion of an object. In a specifically-designed attack, making efforts to access a freed object, Internet Explorer can made to facilitate remote code execution.

In the backdrop of Web-based attack, a cyber assailant could host a site with a web page that could be used to exploit this flaw. Moreover, sites that host or accept user-generated content or ads and hacked sites could have specifically designed content that could exploit this flaw.

But, in any case, there is no way in which an attacker could compel users to visit the compromised sites. Rather, he has to persuade users to visit these websites, especially by convincing them to click the link given in the e-mail or Instant Messenger message that directs users to the website fabricated by the attacker.

IT officials can contribute significantly in protecting their companies from zero-day attacks. Microsoft explained that the protected mode in IE on Windows Vista and later Windows operating systems enables to restrict the flaw's impact, as a hacker who efficiently exploited this flaw would have very restricted access on the targeted system.

In the meantime, the security experts stated that this IE flaw is different from the one found in the first week of March 2010 that enables cyber assailants to remotely execute malware by duping users into hitting the F1 button, which normally presents a help screen.

Related article: Fark.com Files Suit against Suspected Hacker from Fox13

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