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The following cyber advisory was issued by the New York State Office of Information Technology Services and is intended for State government entities. The information may or may not be applicable to the general public and, accordingly, the State does not warrant its use for any specific purposes.

ITS ADVISORY NUMBER:
2013-042 Updated

DATE(S) ISSUED:
5/06/2013
5/09/2013 - UPDATED

SUBJECT:
Vulnerability in Internet Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution

ORIGINAL OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer version 8, which could allow remote code execution. Exploitation may occur if a user visits or is redirected to a specially crafted web page designed to take advantage of the vulnerability. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploit attempts may result in a denial-of-service condition.

It should be noted that there are no patches or updates available to fix this vulnerability and it is currently being exploited in the wild resulting in remote code execution.

MAY 9 UPDATED OVERVIEW:
Microsoft has released a workaround that temporarily fixes this issue.

SYSTEMS AFFECTED:

  • Internet Explorer 8

RISK:
Government:

  • Large and medium government entities: High
  • Small government entities: High

Businesses:

  • Large and medium business entities: High
  • Small business entities: High

Home users: High

ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION:
A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft's web browser, Internet Explorer version 8, which could allow remote code execution. The vulnerability occurs due to Internet Explorer improperly handling a condition where a deleted object is accessed. This may result in a use-after-free condition and lead to execution of arbitrary code. A use-after-free condition occurs when Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that was already freed.

Exploitation may occur if a user visits or is redirected to a specifically crafted web page to take advantage of this vulnerability. Successful exploitation of the vulnerability could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Failed exploit attempts may result in a denial-of-service condition.

It should be noted that there are no patches or updates available to fix this vulnerability and it is currently being exploited in the wild resulting in remote code execution. 

MAY 9 UPDATED DESCRIPTION:
Microsoft has released a workaround that temporarily fixes this issue. This workaround is available for download at https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2847140

ORIGINAL RECOMMENDATIONS:
We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Consider updating Internet Explorer to version 9 or 10.
  • Consider setting web browser security to disable the execution of script code or active content.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
  • Remind users not to open email attachments from unknown users or suspicious emails from trusted sources.

MAY 9 UPDATED RECOMMENDATION:

  • Apply the workaround provided by Microsoft immediately after appropriate testing

ORIGINAL REFERENCES:
Microsoft:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/advisory/2847140

CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2013-1347

Security Focus:
http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/59641

MAY 9 UPDATED REFERENCE:
Microsoft:
https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2847140