RealTime IT News

The Month of The Browser Bugs Begins

Hardly a week goes by without another browser vulnerability being reported. One security researcher is going to take it a step further this month and by releasing a new vulnerability every day.

So far he's living up to his promise.

H.D Moore is the co-author of the Metasploit Framework, an open source licensed platform for both the development and testing of exploit code.

Exploits for various Microsoft Internet Explorer browser flaws have been in the Metasploit in the past, including a particularly nasty, late-2005 zero-day Windows Metafile outbreak.

Moore claims in a recent blog post that he has notified the vendors.

Both Moore and Microsoft were unavailable for comment by press time.

Moore has designated July as the time for his Month of Browser Bugs (MoBB) project in which a new vulnerability will be published every day.

"This information is being published to create awareness about the types of bugs that plague modern browsers and to demonstrate the techniques I used to discover them," Moore wrote on his blog.

It is unclear how many of the vulnerabilities this month will be critical, but if early reports are any indication, it could be a lot.

Security firm Secunia has rated Moore's July 2 MoBB vulnerability, titled "MoBB #2: Internet.HHCtrl Image Property," as being "highly critical."

The alleged vulnerability could allow for arbitrary code execution and it triggered by a flaw in how the hhctrl.ocx HTML Help ActiveX control deals with the image property.

Moore claims that he reported this particular bug to Microsoft on March 6, 2006. It currently remains unpatched.

IE isn't Moore's only target. Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari have alleged flaws, as well.

MoBB vulnerability No. 5, titled "DHTML setAttributeNode()," discusses a bug that affects Apple Safari 2.0.4 running on a fully patched Mac OX X 10.4.7. The bug can allegedly trigger a browser crash.

For both MoBB No. 2 and No. 5, there is currently no known vendor patch.

Not all of the MoBB vulnerabilities are without patches though. MoBB No. 4, titled "Mozilla Firefox DesignMode," is a bug that affected Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.2 but was fixed in the 1.5.0.3 release.

Though the Metasploit Framework could potentially be used as a tool for remote exploitation, the idea behind the MoBB is not to necessarily provide new instantly exploitable exploits to hackers.

"The hacks we publish are carefully chosen to demonstrate a concept without disclosing a direct path to remote code execution," Moore wrote.