We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Microsoft releases patch to plug IE vulnerability

Eeploit has been around for a a few days

As expected, Microsoft yesterday released an out-of-cycle security bulletin and patch designed to fix a critical hole in the Internet Explorer web browser that is already being widely exploited by attackers. The company also announced a change to Windows Update for three previously issued fixes from October for some users of Windows XP Service Pack 1.

The vulnerability addressed by Microsoft's latest bulletin, MS04-040, was first disclosed on Oct. 24 and exists in the iFrame tags of Internet Explorer. The buffer overflow flaw allows attackers to take complete control of a compromised system and can be exploited by getting users to visit web sites where malicious code can be downloaded.

A proof-of-concept exploit named Bofra that takes advantage of the iFrame flaw has been available for several days and was used in launching attacks via banner ads last week that redirected users to rogue websites.

"We are aware of some proof-of-concept code and public attacks" that take advantage of the flaw, said Stephen Toulouse, security program manager at Microsoft's security response center. That's why Microsoft is urging users to apply the latest patch as soon as possible, he added.

The flaw doesn't affect users who have already installed XP SP2, he said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft today reissued three of its fixes from October for users of SP1 who may not have been offered the updates earlier. The problem involves SP1 users who may have downloaded the SP2 patch but have not installed it on their computers yet.

Microsoft's Windows Update and Automatic Updates service wouldn’t have offered the October fixes automatically to such users, Toulouse said. Today's updates fixes the problem for those users.


IDG UK Sites

Nokia branding killed in place of 'Microsoft Lumia': Windows Phone moves into new era

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy the iPad mini 3: No wonder Apple gave it 10 seconds of stage time

IDG UK Sites

Halloween Photoshop tutorials: 13 masterclasses for horrifying art, designs and type

IDG UK Sites

Should you update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8? iOS 8.1 brings back Camera Roll, adds Apple Pay in...