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
    Employees working from home may find it more difficult to follow security policies… An article review. The surge in employees working from home during the pandemic created many headaches for IT departments around the world, many of whom had no telecommuting policies or procedures before the start… but what about the employees who had to […]
    A Webinar-Movie infotex presents the 2021 update of a previously released webinar presented by our Lead Non-Technical Auditor, Adam Reynolds. This movie-short is intended for those who are planning to participate in an infotex Incident Response Test. Not sure about the importance of an Incident Response Test? Check out onetest.infotex.com for more information! Please let […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS INFOTEX PROMOTES BRYAN BONNELL TO DIGITAL MEDIA MANAGER infotex, the Managed Security Service Provider, announced Bryan Bonnell’s promotion from Senior Data Security Analyst to Digital Media Manager.  “He will continue his normal DSA duties on a limited basis, because we want everybody to stay in touch with […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE BUSINESS NEWS RYAN HENSLER OF INFOTEX, EARNS CISSP CERTIFICATE Ryan Hensler, Senior NOC Associate of infotex, Inc., recently received the CISSP certification. “Ryan has proven himself to be a seasoned security professional both in his work for infotex and now through achieving this certification.” said Sean Waugh, Information Security Officer. […]
    Dubious app store subscriptions bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue… An article review. When it comes to malicious applications you’re probably familiar with things like malware and ransomware, and you have ways to avoid them.  Modern desktop and smartphone operating systems have built-in malware detection tools, and some web browsers even automatically […]
    Another Manifesto A supply-chain manifesto by the author of Never Say Never: A Password Manifesto! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . [Sssshh.  Turn out the lights.  Let’s lower our inner voices, as I have something to propose that might be a bit […]
    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! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office.  
    While malware and security exploits continue to make headlines, the majority of reported security incidents involve phishing… An article review. With all the attention given recently to security incidents involving software exploits and high-profile malware attacks, it would be easy to believe that they represented the most likely incidents you may encounter in the wild.  […]
    Implementing Protective DNS could help your organization avoid attack… An article review. Noting the risks still associated with the Domain Name System (DNS), the National Security Agency and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have recently released new guidance on the selection and use of a Protective DNS service (PDNS). The guidance, released in […]
    A Webinar-Movie In 2018 the NCUA started reviewing credit unions with $1 billion or more in assets using a tool known as the Automated Cybersecurity Examination Tool, or ACET. The expansion to smaller credit unions is inevitable. In the new year, credit unions should now think about how they can come into compliance with the […]