TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Microsoft Internet Explorer selection.empty Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-11-195: June 14th, 2011


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 11271. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Internet Explorer. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file.

The specific flaw exists within the way Internet explorer handles the javascript statement 'selection.empty' during certain onclick events. By causing a particular sequence of events, an attacker can cause a CDisplayObject to be freed while it is still in use. This results in an operation on previously freed memory that can be utilized to achieve remote code execution.

Vendor Response

Microsoft has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2011-04-04 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2011-06-14 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by: