Two years after patch, a new IE5/6 FTP flaw

A flaw in the way Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser processes FTP commands could let attackers steal or erase data from a victim's FTP site.

The bug, which affects users of IE6 and the unsupported IE5 browser, gives an attacker a way of hijacking the victim's FTP sessions. But a successful attack would be very hard to pull off and would only work in very precise and targeted attacks, security experts said.

The attacker would need to know the victim's user name on the FTP server and the victim would have to already be logged into the server, using IE. Under those conditions, the victim could be sent a malicious FTP link that would then execute commands on the victim's FTP server.

This link could be sent to the browser via an invisible iFrame component, hidden on a malicious website, so the victim might not even know the attack was taking place. "It's something that people could use to steal data, but you'd have to know your target," said Derek Abdine, the principal software engineer with security vendor Rapid7, who unveiled the issue in a security advisory.

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