Tuesday, January 19, 2010

'Aurora' Exploit Retooled To Bypass Internet Explorer's DEP Security

Kelly Jackson Higgins writes on Dark Reading:

Security experts' worst fears about the Internet Explorer exploit used to hack Google and others has been realized: It can be retooled to beat IE's best defense, the Data Execution Protection (DEP) feature.

Some researchers are actively working on ways to use the malicious code in the so-called "Aurora" attacks to bypass DEP, a security feature in Windows and available for IE that prevents so-called "heap-spray" style code execution by malware. And one group of researchers claims to have demonstrated that the exploit can bypass DEP: VUPEN Security says it has confirmed that DEP doesn't prevent the exploit and that the only way to stop it is to disable JavaScript.

Chaouki Bekrar, CETO of VUPEN Security, says his team was able to bypass DEP on IE8 and execute arbitrary code. "We first used this technique a few weeks ago when we exploited another IEb8 vulnerability [that was] fixed with MS09-072," Bekrar says. He says VUPEN has sent its exploit code to Microsoft for review. IDS, IPS, and antivirus vendors also were given access to it via the company's vulnerability analysis service.

DEP is one of the key defenses against the original Aurora exploit code, which to date has been threatening only IE 6 users in the wild after being released in the wake of the recent hacks of Google and other firms.

More here.


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