TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Microsoft Internet Explorer CDOMTextNode Use-After-Free Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-13-103: May 30th, 2013


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 12928. 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 is due to the way mshtml handles a CDOMTextNode. When using a selection to get focusNode, the process can be made to create a CDOMTextNode and later delete this CDOMTextNode resulting in a dangling pointer. The process can be later forced to reuse this pointer resulting in a use-after-free condition. An attacker can leverage this situation to execute code under the context of the user running the browser.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2013-02-22 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2013-05-30 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Stephen Fewer of Harmony Security (www.harmonysecurity.com)