A Vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution

ITS Advisory Number: 
2018-131
Date(s) Issued: 
Thursday, December 20, 2018
Subject: 
A Vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution
Overview: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Internet Explorer, which could allow for arbitrary code execution. Microsoft Internet Explorer is a web browser available for Microsoft Windows. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow for arbitrary code execution. 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. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

 

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There are currently no reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild.

Systems Affected: 
  • Internet Explorer 8 for Windows Embedded Standard 2009 XP, POSReady 2009

  • Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Server 2008

  • Internet Explorer 10 for Windows Server 2012

  • Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7, 8.1, RT 8.1, 10

  • Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019

RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Internet Explorer, which could allow for arbitrary code execution. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit the vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website, for example, by sending an email. The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how the scripting engine handles objects in memory.

 

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow for arbitrary code execution. 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. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, immediately apply updates provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems.

  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative rights) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.

  • Remind all users not to visit untrusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

  • Inform and educate users regarding threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from untrusted sources.

  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.