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Microsoft Windows Shell Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

April 12, 2005

Description

Microsoft Windows is prone to a vulnerability that may allow remote attackers to execute code through the Windows Shell. The cause of the vulnerability is related to how the operating system handles unregistered file types. The specific issue is that files with an unknown extension may be opened with the application specified in the embedded CLSID. The victim of the attack would be required to open a malicious file, possibly hosted on a Web site or sent through email. Social engineering would generally be required to entice the victim into opening the file.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP1
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows 98SE
  • Microsoft Windows ME
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003 SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2

Recommendations

Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.

Users should not accept or open files that originate from an unfamiliar or untrusted source, especially if they arrive in unsolicited email or are hosted on a Web site of questionable integrity.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

Users should be wary of visiting Web sites of questionable integrity.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.

Users should perform all non-administrative tasks an as unprivileged user with minimal access rights. This may reduce the impact of latent vulnerabilities.
Microsoft has released fixes to address this vulnerability on supported platforms.

Credits

Discovery is credited to a source that wishes to remain anonymous.
Copyright © Symantec Corporation.
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Security Response. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com.

Disclaimer
The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.
Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Security Response, and secure@symantec.com are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the sole property of their respective companies/owners.

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