ZDI-11-249: (Pwn2Own) Microsoft Internet Explorer Protected Mode Bypass Vulnerability


ZDI-11-249: (Pwn2Own) Microsoft Internet Explorer Protected Mode Bypass Vulnerability http://www.zerodayinitiative.com/advisories/ZDI-11-249 August 9, 2011 -- CVSS: 6.4, (AV:N/AC:L/Au:N/C:P/I:P/A:N) -- Affected Vendors: Microsoft -- Affected Products: Microsoft Internet Explorer -- TippingPoint(TM) IPS Customer Protection: TippingPoint IPS customers have been protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 11294. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS, visit: http://www.tippingpoint.com -- Vulnerability Details: This vulnerability allows remote attackers to escape Protected Mode on vulnerable installations of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer Protected Mode consists of a Medium Integrity and a Low Integrity process. The Low Integrity process is only allowed to write to special Low Integrity locations. File written there are marked as Low Integrity files. When a new Internet Explorer process is launched it checks the Integrity of the file it is launched against. If the file is a Low Integrity file it will run the process in Low Integrity Mode. It is however possible to give the file an even lower permission: Untrusted, since this does not match the check for 'Low Integrity' the Internet Explorer will run in Medium Integrity instead of Low Integrity. This can be abused in an exploit to bypass the Protected Mode design and thus allow an attacker to escalate their privileges. -- Vendor Response: Microsoft has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS11-057.mspx -- Disclosure Timeline: 2011-03-09 - Vulnerability reported to vendor 2011-08-09 - Coordinated public release of advisory -- Credit: This vulnerability was discovered by: * Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security (www.harmonysecurity.com) -- About the Zero Day Initiative (ZDI): Established by TippingPoint, The Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) represents a best-of-breed model for rewarding security researchers for responsibly disclosing discovered vulnerabilities. Researchers interested in getting paid for their security research through the ZDI can find more information and sign-up at: http://www.zerodayinitiative.com The ZDI is unique in how the acquired vulnerability information is used. TippingPoint does not re-sell the vulnerability details or any exploit code. Instead, upon notifying the affected product vendor, TippingPoint provides its customers with zero day protection through its intrusion prevention technology. Explicit details regarding the specifics of the vulnerability are not exposed to any parties until an official vendor patch is publicly available. Furthermore, with the altruistic aim of helping to secure a broader user base, TippingPoint provides this vulnerability information confidentially to security vendors (including competitors) who have a vulnerability protection or mitigation product. Our vulnerability disclosure policy is available online at: http://www.zerodayinitiative.com/advisories/disclosure_policy/ Follow the ZDI on Twitter: http://twitter.com/thezdi