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State-sponsored attackers likely used IE hole to target Gmail accounts

2012-06-14 08:18 by
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Microsoft and Google have warned about a new Internet Explorer zero-day being exploited to break into GMail accounts. The issue first started to crop up last week at which time, Gmail users that had their accounts breached, were given an alert message upon signing into their account stating that they were potentially a victim of "state sponsored attackers" who were trying to gain access to their gmail account.

The browser flaw, which is currently unpatched, expose Windows users to remote code execution attacks with little or no user action (drive-by downloads if an IE users simply surfs to a rigged site):

"The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit such a website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker’s website. The vulnerability affects all supported releases of Microsoft Windows, and all supported editions of Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office 2007.

The vulnerability exists when MSXML attempts to access an object in memory that has not been initialized, which may corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the logged-on user."

In its security advisory on the issue, Microsoft acknowledges the Google Security Team for working with the company on the MSXML Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability. Microsoft also thanks a Chinese security team, Qihoo 360 Security Center, for reporting the vulnerability.

Read more -here-


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