Microsoft Windows Media Components 'Service Principle Name' Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

December 9, 2008


Microsoft Windows Media Components is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability in the SPN (Service Principle Name) implementation. A successful exploit of this vulnerability may allow a remote attacker to execute code in the context of the logged-in user.

Technologies Affected

  • HP Storage Management Appliance 2.1
  • Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009
  • Microsoft Windows Media Format 11
  • Microsoft Windows Media Format 7.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Format 9.0
  • Microsoft Windows Media Format 9.5
  • Microsoft Windows Media Format 9.5 x64
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 6.4
  • Microsoft Windows Media Services 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Media Services 4.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Services 9.0 Series
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP2 Feature Pack 2007
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded SP3
  • Microsoft Windows XP Embedded Update Rollup 1.0


Block external access at the network boundary, unless external parties require service.
If global access isn't needed, filter access to the affected computer at the network boundary. Restricting access to only trusted computers and networks might greatly reduce the likelihood of a successful exploit.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
When possible, run client software as regular user accounts with limited access to system resources. This may limit the immediate consequences of client-side vulnerabilities.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to detect and block attacks and anomalous activity such as requests containing suspicious URI sequences. Since the webserver may log such requests, review its logs regularly.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
Web users should be cautious about following links to sites that are provided by unfamiliar or suspicious sources. Filtering HTML from emails may help remove a possible vector for transmitting malicious links to users.

Microsoft has released a security bulletin and fixes to address this vulnerability. NOTE: Microsoft has released new updates for Windows XP Embedded. Users of that operating system need to reinstall updates.




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