First bug found for Internet Explorer Beta 2

A security researcher on Tuesday discovered a bug just hours after Microsoft released the Beta 2 preview of Internet Explorer 7.

An independent researcher needed just 15 minutes to find the first bug in the Beta 2 preview release of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 browser.

Tom Ferris, of Mission Viejo, California, published his findings Tuesday just hours after Microsoft released the beta code. His findings are posted at http://www.security-protocols.com/advisory/sp-x23-advisory.txt. Ferris discovered the bug, which causes Internet Explorer (IE) to crash when it tries to read a specially crafted HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) file, using an automated security testing tool, called a "fuzzer" that he wrote to test Microsoft's browsers.

"Whenever they patch, I normally run IE through the fuzzing iterations, just to see if there [is something new]," he said. Ferris posted his findings at 8:30 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, the same day IE Beta 2 was released, he said.

Right now the bug can be exploited only to crash the browser, but Ferris says it's likely that his attack could eventually be modified to run unauthorized code on a user's machine.

The vulnerability appears to be exclusive to Internet Explorer Beta 2 browser, he said. "This is a completely new bug. I've never actually seen this in any browser before."

Microsoft was not immediately able to comment on Ferris's findings. A spokeswoman for the company's public relations agency said Microsoft is "looking into this."

Ferris has previously discovered bugs in the Firefox and Safari browsers, as well as in Windows XP, but even he was surprised at the quickness with which this latest vulnerability popped up.

Ferris's discovery is one of the quickest such bug-findings on record, said Mikko Hypponen, manager of antivirus research at F-Secure in Helsinki. "It's probably the fastest from launch to exploit that I've ever heard about," he said.

Microsoft spent millions to improve its software development process to make it more secure. The company has promoted Internet Explorer Beta 2 as a more secure product. But Ferris believes that his research shows that the software giant still has work to do in this area.

"I think that they're still lacking very common security testing methods. I looked at it for 15 minutes and I was able to find a clean bug," he said. "They still have a lot of work to do."

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?