Windows 8 was officially launched just a few days ago, but researchers from VUPEN Security have already developed a zero-day exploit. The most interesting fact is that the exploit allegedly works with all new attack mitigation mechanisms enabled.“Welcome Windows 8 and IE10...welcome HiASLR / HiEntropy, AntiROP, AntiUaF, Anti vTable abuse, and other user/kernel mode exploit mitigations,” Chaouki Bekrar, CEO and head of research at VUPEN wrote on October 26.
A few days later, another tweet revealed that they had already succeeded in finding a vulnerability in Microsoft’s latest operating system.
“We welcome Windows8 with various 0Ds combined to pwn all new Win8/IE10 exploit mitigations. Congrats to our mitigation mitigator,” Bekrar wrote.
Then, the big announcement: “Our first 0day for Win8+IE10 with HiASLR/AntiROP/DEP & Prot Mode sandbox bypass (Flash not needed) is ready for customers. Welcome Windows8.”
The chief of VUPEN told Forbes that the details of the Windows 8 zero-day would be shared with their customers. They will be able to use it either to protect their infrastructures against cyberattacks, or for “national security purposes.”
In the description of its “Sophisticated exploits for offensive security” offering, VUPEN reveals that it provides “government-grade exploits” that are specially designed for national security agencies and the intelligence community to aid them in lawful interception missions and other cyber security operations, including offensive ones.
Some time ago, the company was compared to a team of mercenaries because of rumors that claimed they made impressive amounts of money from selling their exploits.
However, Bekrar told Softpedia some time ago that the “description” made at the time “was not fair at all.”
We’ve reached out to Microsoft representatives to see what they have to say on the matter. We’ll update the post as soon as they respond to our inquiry.
On the other hand, experts highlight the fact that VUPEN has one of the best security research teams in the world and it would not be an easy task for others to find ways to hack Windows 8, especially since the operating system has a number of strong mitigation systems set in place.
Update. Microsoft representatives have responded to our inquiry.
“We saw the tweet, but further details have not been shared with us. We continue to encourage researchers to participate in Microsoft’s Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure program to help ensure our customers’ protection,” Microsoft’s director of Trustworthy Computing Dave Forstrom said.