This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Microsoft releases temporary fix for new IE zero-day exploited in the wild

Share this article:

Microsoft is warning that a new zero-day flaw in its Internet Explorer (IE) browser is being leveraged in targeted attacks.

On Tuesday, the company posted details about the bug in a security advisory and released a 'Fix it' solution – a temporary workaround for the flaw in IE 8 and 9.

The vulnerability, CVE-2013-3893, already being exploited in the wild, may lead to memory corruption, which could allow a remote attacker to execute malicious code in IE, Microsoft revealed.

“The vulnerability is a remote code execution vulnerability,” the advisory said. “The vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated…[and] may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer.”

To attack, a saboteur could easily convince users to view a malicious page designed to exploit the flaw. Simply by targeting victims with phishing emails, attackers could scale an attack.

In a blog posted on Tuesday, Dustin Childs, group manager of response communications at Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, said that hackers could also opt to carry out watering hole attacks to target users: “This would typically occur when an attacker compromises the security of trusted websites regularly frequented [by users],” he wrote.  

So far, customers have reported a 'limited number' of targeted attacks directed at IE 8 and 9, though the issue could impact users running “all supported versions” of the browser, Childs warned.

Upon applying the Fix it solution, users are also advised to set their internet and local intranet security zone settings to 'high' to prevent exploitation of the bug, Childs wrote. While browsing, users should also disable Active Scripting – a Windows feature used to implement component-based scripting support – or configure IE so they are prompted when Active Scripting runs.

On Wednesday, Dana Tamir, director of enterprise security at Trusteer, an IBM company, blogged that implementing the temporary fix could “limit some functionalities of IE”, and that the workaround couldn't be applied to certain versions of the browser.

“The ‘Fix it' applies only to 32-bit versions of Internet Explorer,” Tamir wrote.  “If you are running 64-bit, the ‘Fix it' cannot be applied.”

In its advisory, Microsoft said that it was actively working to release a patch for the issue, either in its next monthly security update – due out on 8th October – or in an out-of-cycle release.

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

Cyber security still a learning curve for most companies

Cyber security still a learning curve for most ...

Poor network visibility, outdated security tools, a skills shortage and a lack of control in the cloud are just some of the reasons companies are struggling with cyber-security, say two ...

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role in £6 million scheme

WorldPay hacker sentenced to 11 years for role ...

An Estonian man, who helped hack payment processor RBS WorldPay in 2008, has now been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his involvement in the £5.9 (US$ 9.4 million) ...

'Sophisticated' Chinese hackers launched attacks against 43,000 computer systems

'Sophisticated' Chinese hackers launched attacks against 43,000 computer ...

A new report reveals that a Chinese cyber-espionage group is closely affiliated with government and carried out attacks against the likes of Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.