Clear Tenor: Opera has Security Hole

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 @ 02:10 PM gHale

There is a critical security hole in the Opera browser an attacker can exploit to inject malicious code.

The hole is the result of a memory flaw when processing SVG content within framesets. Simply visiting a compromised web page is enough for a system to suffer from an infection with malicious code. Security expert José A. Vázquez said the exploit is successful in 3 out of 10 cases. With the pre-alpha version of Opera 12, the exploit managed to inject malicious code in 6 out of 10 cases.

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Vázquez said he originally found the hole and notified the developers with a proof of concept one year ago. But it seems Opera decided not to close the hole, he said.

Vázquez said he thought the Opera developers might have tested his version 10.6 exploit with the current version 11.x, which may have caused the exploit to malfunction.

Instead of contacting Opera again, Vázquez adapted the exploit for the current version 11.51 of Opera and has released it as a Metasploit module. This means, in principle, anyone can now exploit the vulnerability.

By releasing the exploit, Vázquez said he is forcing the browser developers into action. Opera will now have to respond in order to avoid exposing browser users to a virus threat for longer than is absolutely necessary.

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