Microsoft to release emergency Internet Explorer patch on Monday

The patch will fix a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8

Microsoft will release a patch on Monday for older versions of its Internet Explorer browser, deviating from its normal repair schedule due to the seriousness of the problem.

The vulnerability, which is present in IE 6, 7 and 8, is a memory corruption issue. It can be exploited by an attacker via a drive-by download, a term for loading a website with attack code that delivers malware to a victim's computer if the person merely visits the website.

Microsoft released a quick fix for the issue earlier this month, but did not have a more permanent patch ready when it released its monthly batch of patches last Tuesday. The company will occasionally release an emergency patch if the software vulnerability is considered a high risk.

"While we have still seen only a limited number of customers affected by the issue, the potential exists that more customers could be affected in the future," wrote Dustin Childs, group manager for the company's Trustworthy Computing Group, on a company blog on Sunday.

The patch, which will be released at 10 AM PST, will be distributed through Windows Update. Childs wrote users will not have to uninstall the quick fix before applying the patch, which will be installed automatically for those who have automatic updates enabled.

Security vendor Symantec credited a group called Elderwood as finding the IE vulnerability due to similarities in the attack code that uses the vulnerability with other attack code.

The Elderwood group has discovered as many as nine other vulnerabilities since 2009 and appears to favor targeting defense contractors, human rights groups, non-governmental organizations and IT service providers, according to a Symantec report issued in September.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Tags securityMicrosoftpatch managementdata protectionExploits / vulnerabilitiesmalware

Comments

Comments are now closed

CSO Corporate Partners
  • f5
  • Webroot
  • Trend Micro
  • NetIQ
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to CSO, invitation only events, reports & analysis.
CSO Directory

Email Security and Data Protection

Encrypt your sensitive email

Security Awareness Tip
Security ABC Guides

Warning: Tips for secure mobile holiday shopping

I’m dating myself, but I remember when holiday shopping involved pouring through ads in the Sunday paper, placing actual phone calls from tethered land lines to research product stock and availability, and actually driving places to pick things up. Now, holiday shoppers can do all of that from a smartphone or tablet in a few seconds, but there are some security pitfalls to be aware of.