Microsoft will patch IE zero day but doesn’t give timelineMay 23, 2014 – 5:38 AM
Microsoft said Thursday it plans eventually to patch a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 that it’s known about for seven months, but it didn’t say when.
A security research group within Hewlett-Packard called the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) released details of the flaw on Wednesday after giving Microsoft months to address it. The group withholds details of vulnerabilities to prevent tipping off hackers but eventually publicizes its findings even if a flaw isn’t fixed.
Microsoft said it had not detected attacks that used the vulnerability, which is a “use-after-free” flaw, which involves the handling of CMarkup objects.
The company did not give a reason for the long delay but said in a statement that some patches take longer to engineer and that “we must test every one against a huge number of programs, applications and different configurations.”
“We continue working to address this issue and will release a security update when ready in order to help protect customers,” it said.
To exploit the flaw, an attacker would have to convince a user to visit a malicious website. If the attack were successful, a hacker would have the same rights as the victim on the computer and could run arbitrary code.
Microsoft’s next patch release, known as “Patch Tuesday,” is scheduled for June 10. It occasionally issues an emergency patch if a vulnerability is being widely used in attacks.