MSVR Advisories Notify Users of Security Flaws in Chrome and Opera
MSVR advisories will contain alerts on vulnerabilities privately reported by Microsoft to third-party vendors and will normally be issued only after vendor-supplied patch is available
( April 22, 2011 - Albuquerque, NM -- Recently, Microsoft initiated new set of advisories. The advisories termed as Microsoft Vulnerability Research (MSVR) advisories intend to alert users on security vulnerabilities associated with third-party products. MSVR advisories will contain alerts on vulnerabilities privately reported by Microsoft to third-party vendors and will normally be issued only after vendor-supplied patch is available. The initiative is part of the Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure (CVD) approach of the developer.

Vulnerabilities in products manufactured by other vendors may be identified by in-house developers and test engineers of Microsoft and independent security researchers. They may also be detected by MSVR team through vulnerability analysis and research using internal tool sets on products, which run on Microsoft operating systems, but are manufactured by third-party vendors. The identified vulnerabilities are privately reported to the concerned vendor. MSVR coordinates with the concerned vendors to fix the security flaws.

Microsoft issued first set of MSVR advisories, which alerted users on use-after-free object Lifetime issue in Google Chrome and vulnerability related to HTML5 implementation in Chrome and Opera. The use-after-free object Lifetime issue is related to the way Chrome references freed memory. The flaw allows an attacker to cause the browser to become unresponsive and execute arbitrary code within Chrome Sandbox. The flaw affects Chrome versions prior to 6.0.472.59. Google has mitigated the vulnerability. The vulnerability related to HTML5 implementation affects Chrome 8.0.552.210 and prior versions, and Opera browser 10.62 and prior versions. The security flaw could cause information disclosure, which could be used by attacker to further compromise the affected system. Both Google and Opera have mitigated the security flaw in their respective software.

Attackers constantly ascertain and explore ways to exploit vulnerabilities in software products. Attackers also take advantage of time lag in release of a security update and subsequent implementation by users. Proactive and coordinated approach is required to minimize exploitation of vulnerabilities. As vendors are under constant pressure to develop secure products, the CVD approach may benefit all vendors and provide protection to users. The approach augurs well for the IT industry, which faces shortage of professionals qualified in IT degree programs and other security certifications.

Vendors must educate users on cyber security through security blogs, advertisements, e-tutorials and e-flyers. Organizations must educate employees on security threats and safe online practices through e-learning and Online IT courses.

The vibrant threats in the IT environment make it imperative for cyber security professionals to abreast themselves of latest security tools and techniques by undertaking online IT degree programs, participating in training programs and security conferences.

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EC-Council is a member-based organization that certifies individuals in cybersecurity and e-commerce skills. It is the owner and developer of 16 security certifications, including Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Computer Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI) and EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA)/License Penetration Tester (LPT). Its certificate programs are offered in over 60 countries around the world.

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