Security Activity Bulletin

Microsoft Internet Explorer Watering Hole Attack

 
Threat Type:CWE-20: Input Validation
IntelliShield ID:31696
Version:2
First Published:2013 November 11 21:16 GMT
Last Published:2013 November 13 14:34 GMT
Port: Not available
Urgency:Possible use
Credibility:Confirmed
Severity:Moderate Damage
 
Version Summary:Microsoft has released a security bulletin and software updates to address the Microsoft Internet Explorer Watering Hole attack.
 

Description
 
Reports indicate that malicious websites are exploiting multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, 9, and 10. The vulnerabilities could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

Malicious software on attacker-controlled websites leverages an information disclosure vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer to obtain the timestamp from the PE headers of msvcrt.dll. The malicious software uses the timestamp value to create additional exploits against the identified system, ensuring better success with additional exploits.

The malicious site then attempts to exploit an additional vulnerability in Internet Explorer that exists because of improper memory operations. The malicious site attempts to exploit this vulnerability and install malicious software on the affected system. The malicious software has been identified as a variant of the Hydraq/McRAT malicious software family as reported by Fireeye.

Microsoft has confirmed the vulnerability and software updates are available.

Microsoft has released security bulletin MS13-090 and assigned CVE-2013-3918, as documented in IntelliShield Alert 31635, to this issue.

Microsoft customers can obtain updates directly by using the links in the security bulletin. These updates are also distributed by Windows automatic update features and available on the Microsoft Update service. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server, and System Center Configuration Manager can assist administrators in deploying software updates.

Users should verify that unsolicited links are safe to follow.

Reports indicate that the memory access vulnerability can be mitigated by the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) utility.
 
Alert History
 
Version 1, November 11, 2013, 9:16 PM: Reports indicate attackers are using an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to gain sensitive information and execute arbitrary code on an affected system.


Product Sets
 
The security vulnerability applies to the following combinations of products.

Primary Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Internet Explorer 7.0 Base | 8.0 Base | 9.0 Base | 10.0 Base

Associated Products:
N/A




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