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Microsoft Indexing Service ActiveX Control Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

October 13, 2009

Description

The Microsoft Indexing Service ActiveX control is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker can exploit this issue by enticing an unsuspecting to view a malicious webpage. Successful exploits will allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code within the context of an application that uses the ActiveX control (typically Internet Explorer). Failed exploit attempts will likely crash the application. NOTE: The vulnerability affects only systems that have the Indexing Service enabled. None of the affected systems enable the Indexing Service in default configurations.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Itanium SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition SP3

Recommendations

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

To reduce the impact of latent vulnerabilities, always run nonadministrative software as an unprivileged user with minimal access rights.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

Attackers could exploit this vulnerability by enticing a user to visit a malicious website. Do not follow links provided by sources of questionable integrity.

Set web browser security to disable the execution of script code or active content.

Disable support for script code and active content within a client browser to reduce the chances of a successful exploit. Note that this mitigation tactic might adversely affect legitimate websites that rely on the execution of browser-based script code.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.

Since this issue may be leveraged to execute code, we recommend memory-protection schemes, such as non-executable stack/heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments. This tactic may complicate exploits of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin and fixes. Please see the references for details.

Credits

Yamata Li
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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