In a rare move, the US Department of Homeland Security recommends users stop using Internet Explorer until Microsoft plugs a critical security hole. The Department’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team says a new Internet Explorer vulnerability that affects all major versions of the browser from the past decade has forced it to raise an alarm. The vulnerability is so serious that the team recommends to stop using IE until the bug is fixed. Here is the advisory:
Vulnerability Note VU#222929
Microsoft Internet Explorer use-after-free vulnerability
Original Release date: 27 Apr 2014 | Last revised: 28 Apr 2014
Microsoft Internet Explorer contains a use-after-free vulnerability, which can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.
Microsoft Internet Explorercontains a use-after-free vulnerability. This can allow for arbitrary code execution. Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11are affected.Note that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild. Although no Adobe Flash vulnerability appears to be at play here, the Internet Explorer vulnerability is used to corrupt Flash content in a way that allows ASLR to be bypassed via a memory address leak. This is made possible with Internet Explorer because Flash runs within the same process space as the browser. Note that exploitation without the use of Flash may be possible.
By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (e.g., a web page or an HTML email message or attachment), an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code.
We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem. Please see Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983 for workarounds. Please also consider the following workarounds:
Use the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience ToolkitThe Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) can be used to help prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. Note that platforms that do not support ASLR, such as Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, will not receive the same level of protection that modern Windows platforms will.