[ISN] IE and Firefox cough up hard drive contents

From: InfoSec News (alerts@private)
Date: Mon Feb 12 2007 - 23:19:57 PST


By Dan Goodin in San Francisco 
13th February 2007

The latest versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows and (in 
the case of Firefox) Unix systems are vulnerable to attacks that could 
reveal the contents of sensitive files residing on a victim's hard 

The vulnerability resides in the functionality that allows the browsers 
to upload files to a remote server. It requires a victim to visit a 
booby-trapped website and enter text with certain characters in a 
comment interface or other input field.

Demonstration exploits, one for IE and the other for Firefox, show how 
typing a simple string into a message box reveals a Windows user's 
boot.ini file.

Petko D. Petkov, a researcher who has investigated the vulnerability, 
says similar techniques could be used to reveal more sensitive files on 
Windows or Unix-based machines, for example 
C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SAM in the former or /etc/passwd in the 

The vulnerability in Firefox was tested with versions 2.0 and 1.5. It is 
a variant of a bug that was reported on Bugzilla as early as 2000, 
according to Michal Zalewski, who is credited with discovering the flaw 
in that browser.

Petkov is believed to have first determined that IE 7 is also 

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