Microsoft Data Access Components RDS Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Date Discovered

November 20, 2002


Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) contains a buffer overflow in a Remote Data Services (RDS) component. The server side RDS component affected is called the RDS Data Stub, while the client side is called the Data Space control. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code, or at the very least, cause a denial of service. While this vulnerability affects Internet Explorer 6, Windows XP users are not at risk.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.1
  • Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.5
  • Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.6
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0.1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0.1 SP1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0.1 SP2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 SP1


Block external access at the network boundary, unless external parties require service.
Do not permit external access to web services unless they are explicitly required by external users.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
Do not run Internet Explorer as a user with greater privileges than required.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
Running IIS as an unprivileged user will limit the consequences of successful exploitation.

Do not accept communications that originate from unknown or untrusted sources.
Do not visit unknown or untrusted websites from critical systems. Do not open HTML email from unknown or untrusted users.

Microsoft has released a fix:



The discovery of this vulnerability is credited to Foundstone Research Labs.

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