What Could the IE Vulnerability DoIn their official announcement about the threat, Microsoft addresses questions about what an attacker might use the vulnerability to do:
What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to view the attacker-controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take action, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's website, or by opening an attachment sent through email.
What to Do while Microsoft Fixes the BugFireEye has given steps for users to take until Microsoft has resolved the issue:
- Use another browser instead of IE
- Disable the Adobe Flash plugin. The attache will not work without it.