Just one week after claiming that users of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 browser could be at risk of an online attack, Danish security vendor Secunia is reporting a new bug in the browser.
The bug allows hackers to place a fake Web address in one of the browser’s pop-up Windows, and could be used to trick a victim into inadvertently downloading something from what appeared to be a trusted website. Secunia has described the flaw in an advisory, which can be found here.
Based on its initial investigation, Microsoft believes there is “an issue,” a spokesman with the company’s public relations agency said in an e-mail.
While the full URL of the webpage being displayed is present in the pop-up Window’s address bar, the left part of this URL is not initially displayed, the spokesman said.
That problem could allow an attacker to spoof a legitimate website, Secunia said.
Microsoft’s confirmation may come as a relief to Secunia, which reported another problem in IE 7 just hours after the browser was released. Microsoft said Secunia’s report was “technically inaccurate,” however, because the flaw lay in a component of Microsoft’s Outlook Express e-mail client, which could be triggered by the browser. Microsoft’s comment on this issue can be found here.
Neither of the bugs is considered to be particularly critical. But coming so soon after IE 7’s launch, they are somewhat of an embarrassment to Microsoft, which has made much of its focus on delivering secure software.
Secunia was surprised that Microsoft called its first report erroneous, given that the flaw can be triggered only through the browser, said Thomas Kristensen, Secunia’s chief technology officer. “From a technical point of view, Microsoft might be right, but from a user’s point of view, or an administrator’s point of view, it doesn’t really matter. IE is the vector,” he said. “It was probably unnecessary to go out and try to blame Outlook in that way.”
-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)
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