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Home » Hacking News » A flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer

A flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer

by Nikola Strahija on November 27th, 2001 A flaw in Microsoft Internet Explorer allows a malicious website to spoof file extensions in the download dialog to make an executable program file look like a text, image, audio, or any other file..

If the user chooses to
open the file from its current location, the executable program will be
run, and the attacker could gain control over the user's system.
A piece of HTML can be used to cause a normal download dialog to pop up.
The dialog would prompt the user to choose: "open
this file from its current location" or "save this file to disk". The
file name and extension may be anything the malicious website
administrator wishes, index.html, or sample.wav. If the user chooses the first alternative,
"open the file from its current location", an .EXE application is
actually run without any further dialogs.

The program could run a backdoor in the backround and infect user's system, and then pop up a window
which does what the user expected, ie. show a text document or
play an audio file.

The flaw has been successfully exploited with Internet Explorer 5.5 and
6. Another browser such as Opera or Netscape which don't seem to have this vulnerability.

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