CERT-SEI

Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Exchange

Original issue date: October 16, 2003
Last revised: October 17, 2003
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.


Systems Affected

  • Multiple versions of Microsoft Windows (ME, NT 4.0, NT 4.0 TSE, 2000, XP, Server 2003)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2000

Overview

There are multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Exchange, the most serious of which could allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code.


I. Description

There are a number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Exchange that could allow an attacker to gain administrative control of a vulnerable system.  The most serious of these vulnerabilities allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with no action required on the part of the victim.  For detailed information, see the following vulnerability notes:

VU#575892 - Buffer overflow in Microsoft Windows Messenger Service
There is a buffer overflow in the Messenger service on most recent versions of Microsoft Windows that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.
(Other resources:  MS03-043, CAN-2003-0717)

VU#422156 - Microsoft Exchange Server fails to properly handle specially crafted SMTP extended verb requests
Microsoft Exchange fails to handle certain SMTP extended verbs correctly.  In Exchange 5.5, this can lead to a denial-of-service condition. In Exchange 2000, this could permit an attacker to run arbitrary code.
(Other resources:  MS03-046, CAN-2003-0714)

In addition, several other vulnerabilities may permit an attacker to execute arbitrary code if the attacker can convince the victim to take some specific action (e.g., viewing a web page or an HTML email message).  For detailed information, see the following vulnerability notes:

VU#467036 - Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center contains buffer overflow in code used to handle HCP protocol
There is a buffer overflow in the Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center that could permit an attacker to execute arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges.
(Other resources:  MS03-044, CAN-2003-0711)

VU#989932 - Microsoft Windows contains buffer overflow in Local Troubleshooter ActiveX control (Tshoot.ocx)
Microsoft Windows ships with a troubleshooting application to assist users with problems. A vulnerability in this application may permit a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.
(Other resources:  MS03-042, CAN-2003-0662)

VU#838572 - Microsoft Windows Authenticode mechanism installs ActiveX controls without prompting user
A vulnerability in Microsoft's Authenticode could allow a remote attacker to install an untrusted ActiveX control on the victim's system.  The ActiveX control could run code of the attacker's choice.
(Other resources:  MS03-041, CAN-2003-0660)

VU#435444 - Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) contains cross-site scripting vulnerability in the "Compose New Message" form
There is a cross-site scripting vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook Web Access.
(Other resources:  MS03-047, CAN-2003-0712)

Finally, there is a vulnerability in ListBox and ComboBox controls that could allow a local user to gain elevated privileges. For detailed information, see

VU#967668 - Microsoft Windows ListBox and ComboBox controls vulnerable to buffer overflow when supplied crafted Windows message
There is a buffer overflow in a function called by the Microsoft Windows ListBox and ComboBox controls that could allow a local attacker to execute arbitrary code with privileges of the process hosting the controls.
(Other resources:  MS03-045, CAN-2003-0659)


II. Impact

The impact of these vulnerabilities ranges from denial of service to the ability to execute arbitrary code.


III. Solution

Disable the Messenger Service

For VU#575892, Microsoft recommends first disabling the Messenger service and then evaluating the need to apply the patch.  If the Messenger service is not required, leave it in the disabled state.  Apply the patch to make sure that systems are protected, especially if the Messenger service is re-enabled.  Instructions for disabling the Messenger service can be found in VU#575892 and MS03-043.

Apply patches

Microsoft has provided patches for these problems.  Details can be found in the relevant Microsoft Security Bulletins.  For many home users, the simplest way to obtain these patches will be by running Windows Update.


Appendix A.  Vendor Information

This appendix contains information provided by vendors.  When vendors report new information, this section is updated, and the changes are noted in the revision history.  If a vendor is not listed below, we have not received their authenticated, direct statement.  Further vendor information is available in the Systems Affected sections of the vulnerability notes listed above.

Microsoft Corporation

Please see the following Microsoft Security Bulletins:  MS03-041, MS03-042, MS03-043, MS03-044, MS03-045, MS03-046, and MS03-047.


Appendix B.  References


Our thanks to Microsoft Corporation for the information contained in their security bulletins. Microsoft has credited the following people for their help in discovering and responding to these issues: Greg Jones of KPMG UK and Cesar Cerrudo, The Last Stage of Delirium Research Group, David Litchfield of Next Generation Security Software Ltd., Brett Moore of Security-Assessment.com, Joao Gouveia, and Ory Segal of Sanctum Inc.


Feedback can be directed to the authors, Shawn V. Hernan and Art Manion.

Copyright 2003 Carnegie Mellon University.

Revision History

October 16, 2003:  Initial release, added CAN-2003-0662 reference
October 17, 2003:  Fixed MS bulletin references