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Insecure Library Loading
Moderately critical

Microsoft Products Fail to Restrict "shell:" Access

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Release Date:  2004-07-12    Views:  26,703

Secunia Advisory SA12042

Where:

From remote

Impact:

Security Bypass

Solution Status:

Unpatched

CVE Reference(s):

No CVE references.

Description


Jesse Ruderman has reported a vulnerability in MSN Messenger and Microsoft Word, allowing access to the Windows "shell:" functionality.

The problem is that the programs fail to restrict access to the "shell:" URI handler. This allows malicious people to invoke various programs associated with specific extensions. It is not possible to pass parameters to these programs, only filenames, thus limiting the impact of launching applications.

The Windows "shell:" URI handler is inherently insecure and should only be accessed from a few trusted sources - it may even pose a threat through Word documents. Multiple exploits in Internet Explorer also utilise "shell:" functionality.

This is related to a similar issue in Mozilla:
SA12027


Solution:
Do not follow links in MSN Messenger.

Further details available to Secunia VIM customers

Provided and/or discovered by:
Jesse Ruderman

Deep Links:
Links available to Secunia VIM customers

Do you have additional information related to this advisory?

Please provide information about patches, mitigating factors, new versions, exploits, faulty patches, links, and other relevant data by posting comments to this Advisory. You can also send this information to vuln@secunia.com

Subject: Microsoft Products Fail to Restrict "shell:" Access

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