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Microsoft Windows HTML Help Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

June 14, 2005

Description

Microsoft Windows HTML Help is affected by a remote code execution vulnerability. The vulnerability presents itself when the application handles malformed data through the InfoTech protocol (ms-its, its, mk:@msitstore). An attacker may exploit this issue from a malicious Web page or through HTML email to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the currently logged in user. This vulnerability affects any application that utilizes the Windows Help component of Internet Explorer.

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 Datacenter Edition Itanium
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition Itanium SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Itanium
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Itanium SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003
  • 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 Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2

Recommendations

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

Users should be wary of following links provided by untrusted or unfamiliar sources, especially if they arrive unsolicited in email. This may reduce exposure to various attacks that depend on the victim following a malicious link.

Do not accept communications that originate from unknown or untrusted sources.

Users should not accept or open HTML email as it may provide a means of exploiting numerous vulnerabilities. Support for HTML email may be disabled in the email client. HTML email may also be filtered at the gateway.

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

All non-administrative tasks, such as browsing the Web and reading email, should be performed as an unprivileged user with minimal access rights. This will limit the consequences of latent vulnerabilities.
Microsoft has released patches to address this issue for all supported platforms. Microsoft plans to release updates for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Millennium Edition in the near future. Localized fixes for Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Slovenian, Slovakian, and Thai) are available as well.

Credits

Discovery of this issue is credited to Peter Winter-Smith with Next Generation Security Software Ltd and Yuji Ukai wiht eEye Digital Security.
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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