TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Microsoft Internet Explorer swapNode Handling Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-11-289: October 15th, 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 11760. 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 calls to the method swapNode(). When a call to swapNode is issued on an node within a document that has two body nodes, Internet Explorer frees an attribute field for one of the body nodes and then later re-uses the freed field during the node swap. This behavior could result in remote code execution under the context of the current user.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2011-07-20 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2011-10-15 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Sebastian Apelt (www.siberas.de)