March 7th, 2002, 10:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Re: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-014
Title: ? ? ?Unchecked Buffer in Windows Shell Could Lead to Code
? ? ? ? ? ?Execution
Date: ? ? ? 07 March 2002
Software: ? Microsoft Windows 98, NT 4.0, 2000
Impact: ? ? Run code of attacker's choice
Max Risk: ? Moderate
Bulletin: ? MS02-014
Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at:
The Windows Shell is responsible for providing the basic framework
of the Windows user interface experience. ?It is most familiar to
users as the Windows Desktop, but also provides a variety of other
functions to help define the user's computing session, including
organizing files and folders, and providing the means to start
An unchecked buffer exists in one of the functions that helps to
locate incompletely removed applications on the system.
A security vulnerability results because it is possible for a
malicious user to mount a buffer overrun attack and attempt to
exploit this flaw. ?A successful attack would have the affect
of either causing the Windows Shell to crash, or causing code
to run in the user's context.
Be default, this is not remotely exploitable. ?However, under
very unusual conditions, it could be exploited via a web page
- - specifically, if the user has installed an application with
custom URL handlers and then uninstalled that application, and
the uninstall failed to correctly remove the application
completely. ?An attacker could then attempt to levy an attack
by constructing an HTML web page that seeks to exploit the
vulnerability, and then posting it on their web site or
sending it by email.
- In a default installation, this vulnerability is not remotely
? exploitable and could only be exploited by introducing hostile
? code to the system.
- The vulnerability can be remotely exploited only on machines
? that have installed and uninstalled software which implements
? customer URL handlers and the software's uninstall failed to
? completely remove the application from the system.
- Outlook 98 and 2000 (after installing the Outlook Email
? Security Update), Outlook 2002, and Outlook Express 6 all open
? HTML mail in the Restricted Sites Zone. As a result, customers
? using these products would not be at risk from email-borne
- The buffer overrun would allow code to run in the security
? context of the user rather than the system. The specific
? privileges the attacker could gain through this vulnerability
? would therefore depend on the privileges accorded to the user.
- Internet systems: Low
- Intranet systems: Low
- Client systems: Moderate
- A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the
? Security Bulletin at
? for information on obtaining this patch.