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Win7/IE8 Exploit - CanSecWest - Vancouver BC, Canada

Recent trends for malware usually point to some older version of Internet Explorer running on Windows XP.  The lack of address randomization and execution protection makes it an easy target to create functioning exploits.  This years CanSecWest security conference again proves that it draws some of the brightest security researchers from around the globe.

As usual Charlie Miller is there on his "no more free bugs" tour - pointing out that Apple still hasn't taken security seriously enough, and showing through 5 lines of python code ways to reliably identify 20+ exploitable bugs in very common Internet related applications.  Seriously Apple, time to implement the basics, users of your operating system are not just educated coders and security people, they are common people that like to click through stuff.

More interesting though is the exploit of a fully patched IE8/Windows7 platform by Peter Vreugdenhil.  His two step bug and exploit avoids both the ASLR, and permanent DEP protections which have made this target so difficult to exploit, proving that if it is built by humans it can be unbuilt by humans.  Paper here.

Rounding out the conference so far is French researchers presenting on abuses of computing capability within host based network cards.  Did you realize that your network card is really an always-on always-listening mini-computer which can be used to listen into communications and access host-memory directly?

More to come from the conference over the next couple days...

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