About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Internet Explorer URL Spoofing Vulnerability

By Dan Hadaway | Wednesday, December 10, 2003 - Leave a Comment

An issue in Internet explorer will allow an attacker to take you to a page in your browser but the real URL will not show in the address bar. This also affects SSL – you will NOT be notified the SSL cert does not match the fake URL.

This might seem a trivial issue but the uses for the attacker are significant. For example, if an attacker sends you a URL to follow in the form of a forged email from your online bank, but the URL goes to their server rather than your bank. They could disguise this forgery, if you look at the address bar you’ll have no way of knowing you’re not really at your bank’s page.

The root issue in this bug is that you cannot trust where you think you may be in Internet Explorer. Whether you’re on your bank’s website or a Korean hacker’s, you’ll never know. There are many more ways this could be of use to an attacker, especially in conjunction with a number of other issues that remain unresolved.

As of this time there isn’t a patch or fix. The only real defense is to not use IE. Mozilla, Konqueror, and Opera are viable alternatives.

I’m trying my best not to be an IE basher, but it’s really hard not to…

Original disclosure:

Critical: Moderately critical
Impact: ID Spoofing
Where: From remote

Software: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6

Description:
A vulnerability has been identified in Internet Explorer, which can be exploited by malicious people to display a fake URL in the address bar.

The vulnerability is caused due to an input validation error, which can be exploited by including the \”%01\” URL encoded representation after the username and right before the \”@\” character in an URL.

Successful exploitation allows a malicious person to display an arbitrary FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) in the address bar, which is different from the actual location of the page.

This can be exploited to trick users into divulging sensitive information or download and execute malware on their systems, because they trust the faked domain in the address bar.

Example displaying only “http://www.trusted_site.com\” in the address bar when the real domain is \”malicious_site.com\”:
http://www.trusted_site.com%[email protected]_site.com/malicious.html

The vulnerability has been confirmed in version 6.0. However, prior versions may also be affected.

Solution:
Filter malicious characters and character sequences in a proxy server or firewall with URL filtering capabilities.

Don’t follow links from untrusted sources.

Posted in Vulnerability News

Related Articles
Latest News
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    The joint cybersecurity advisory includes the 15 most exploited vulnerabilities reported in 2021… An article review.  While a lot of attention is focused on previously undisclosed or “zero day” attacks, some of the most likely attack vectors are vulnerabilities that have been widely known for weeks or even months.  That’s according to a new joint […]
    Threats are changing, EDR can help us adapt . . . Today’s advanced persistent threat (APT) understands that the IT landscape has changed. In the post-COVID age, more and more organizations have adopted some form of work from home.  While WFH offers many conveniences, it also imparts increased risks. BitSight conducted a 2021 study of […]
    The Five Precepts of IT Vendor Management Webinar-Movie We’re going back to basics on Vendor Management. This webinar will give you a training tool to help out that new person that is starting to take on the gargantuan task that is Vendor Management.
    A new way of helping people “read” new guidance… Look for more in the future! To save you time, we are proud to present “Adam Reads” . . . recorded versions of our Guidance Summaries! Below you can find an embedded player for the audio file. If you are having issues with that working, you […]
    You think you’ve finally found stability in your to-do list. Your goals are set, and you’re even making great progress on them all. Audit findings: all addressed. Management requests: Under control. Heck, you might even be able to leave the office five minutes early at least once this year. Then BAM! A press release from […]
    Software Bill of Materials (SBOMs) are becoming more and more important. . . We are all very familiar with one aspect of the software supply chain – updates.  New features, bug fixes, and performance upgrades are a regular occurrence to any device’s lifecycle, however what if these kinds of updates also include deliberately malicious code? […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    According to a new survey, more organizations than ever are reporting problems with cybersecurity staffing… An article review. While pandemic related mandates and restrictions are gradually being lifted across the country, many organizations are still feeling the effects in one important area: staffing.  That’s according to ISACA’s annual State of Cybersecurity survey, which asked over […]
    Understanding Banking Trojans… Another Technical Article by Tanvee Dhir! What are Banking Trojans? A trojan is a malicious program that masquerades as a genuine one. They are often designed to steal sensitive information from users (login passwords, account numbers, financial information, credit card information, etc.). A banking trojan is a malicious computer program designed to […]