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From applications to infrastructure, enterprises and governments alike face a constant barrage of digital attacks designed to steal data, cripple networks, damage brands, and perform a host of other malicious intents. HP Enterprise Security Products offers products and services that help organizations meet the security demands of a rapidly changing and more dangerous world. HP ESP enables businesses and institutions to take a proactive approach to security that integrates information correlation, deep application analysis and network-level defense mechanisms—unifying the components of a complete security program and reducing risk across your enterprise. In this blog, we will announce the latest offerings from HP ESP, discuss current trends in vulnerability research and technology, reveal new HP ESP security initiatives and promote our upcoming appearances and speaking engagements.

Another Microsoft Zero Day! The HP TippingPoint Spin

Over the weekend, Microsoft released details of a zero-day vulnerability (CVE-2014-1776) present in all versions of Internet Explorer from IE 6 through IE 11. The vulnerability is a use-after-free when the browser attempts to make property changes for HTML elements within a page containing VML. Although VML was officially deprecated as of IE 10, HTML pages can use special syntax to force current versions of the browser to render as if it was using an earlier browser version. This syntax looks like:


<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EmulateIE9" />


When used in a current browser, such as IE 11, the page will render as if it were being loaded in IE 9. So don't always assume just because you're running a newer version of the browser that you are not vulnerable!


We received some early detection guidance from Microsoft, and spent the evening Saturday developing two filters to address this attack. 13902 is a vulnerability filter which should have minimal false positive potential and will address the root cause of the use-after-free vulnerability. 13903 is a policy filter which will be prone to false positives, but can detect the use of VML in a web page - a component critical to this attack.


In order to provide the most complete coverage for this vulnerability, our security researchers analyzed the proof-of-concept file from Microsoft and made a number of modifications to it. This included trimming the attack down to its essential elements needed to cause the crash, modifying which objects and methods were critical to the bug, and addressing multiple ways of triggering the vulnerability.


Finally, the Department of Homeland Security has issued the following release, recommending against the use of Internet Explorer until such time the vulnerability can be patched.



We will continue to monitor the threat landscape for public use of this exploit. If you experience hits on filter 13902 and are able to obtain a trace, please contact HP TippingPoint TAC for confirmation. Thank you!

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