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  Microsoft Windows Explorercode execution

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:09.07.2008
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-038 – Important Vulnerability in Windows Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution (950582)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-038 – Important
Vulnerability in Windows Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution (950582)
Published: July 8, 2008

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves a publicly reported vulnerability in Windows Explorer that could allow remote code execution when a specially crafted saved-search file is opened and saved. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses these vulnerabilities by modifying the way that Windows Explorer parses saved searches. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

Known Issues. None
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Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software
Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update

Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Remote Code Execution


Important


None

Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1


Remote Code Execution


Important


None

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Remote Code Execution


Important


None

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Remote Code Execution


Important


None

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Remote Code Execution


Important


None

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation affected. For supported editions of Windows Server 2008, this update applies, with the same severity rating, whether or not Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see Server Core. Note that the Server Core installation option does not apply to certain editions of Windows Server 2008; see Compare Server Core Installation Options.

Non-Affected Software
Operating System

Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
The file information details can be found in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 950582.

Does this update contain any security-related changes to functionality?
Yes. Besides the changes that are listed in the “Vulnerability Details” section of this bulletin, this security update also resolves a publicly known issue with Autorun functionality in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 systems. The update correctly disables the right-click and double-click behavior controlled by the NoDriveTypeAutorun registry key. This corrects the issue identified in CVE-2008-0951 on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. For more information on the usage of this registry key, see the TechNet article, NoDriveTypeAutoRun.

I am using an older release of the software discussed in this security bulletin. What should I do?
The affected software listed in this bulletin have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. To determine the support life cycle for your software release, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities. For more information about the Windows Product Lifecycle, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle. For more information about the extended security update support period for these software versions or editions, visit Microsoft Product Support Services.

Customers who require custom support for older releases must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an Alliance, Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, visit Microsoft Worldwide Information, select the country, and then click Go to see a list of telephone numbers. When you call, ask to speak with the local Premier Support sales manager. For more information, see the Windows Operating System Product Support Lifecycle FAQ.
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Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers
Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software Windows Saved Search Vulnerability – CVE-2008-1435 Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation affected. For supported editions of Windows Server 2008, this update applies, with the same severity rating, whether or not Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see Server Core. Note that the Server Core installation option does not apply to certain editions of Windows Server 2008; see Compare Server Core Installation Options.
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Windows Saved Search Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1435

A remote code execution vulnerability exists when saving a specially crafted search file within Windows Explorer. This operation causes Windows Explorer to exit and restart in an exploitable manner.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-1435.

Mitigating Factors for Windows Saved Search Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1435

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:


The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful, a user must open and save an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a malformed saved-search (.search-ms) file. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites. Attempts to exploit this vulnerability require user interaction.


An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less affected than users who operate with administrative user rights.
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Workarounds for Windows Saved Search Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1435

Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality.


Temporarily change the file type associated with the “.search-ms” file extension. Enter the following command at an elevated command prompt:

assoc .search-ms=xmlfile

Impact of workaround. Saved-search files will open as XML files in Internet Explorer.

How to undo the workaround. Enter the following command at an elevated command prompt:

assoc .search-ms=SearchFolder


Modify the registry to deny users the ability to open saved-search files or to access the saved search folder.

To modify the registry key, follow these steps:

Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Locate and then expand the following registry subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchFolder

Click Edit, and then click Permissions

Note Make a note of the permissions that are listed in this dialog box so that you can restore them to their original values at a later time.

3.


Click Advanced.

4.


Click to clear the Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent check box. You are prompted to click Copy, Remove, or Cancel. Click Remove, and then click OK.

5.


You receive a message that states that no one will be able to access this registry key. Click Yes, and then click OK to close the Permissions for SearchFolder dialog box.

Impact of workaround. Users will be unable to open saved search files or access the saved search folder.

How to undo the workaround. Restore the previously configured permissions on the registry key by clicking to check Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent and then clicking OK two times.


Unregister the SearchFolder file type.

To modify the registry key, follow these steps:

Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

Using the Interactive Method

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchFolder

3.


Click the File menu and select Export.

4.


In the Export Registry File dialog box, enter SearchFolder_file_association_registry_backup.reg and click Save.

Note This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documentsfolder by default.

5.


Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry key via the Confirm Key Delete dialog box, click Yes.

Using a Managed Deployment Script

1.


Create a backup copy of the registry keys by using a managed deployment script that contains the following commands:

Regedit.exe /e SearchFolder_registry_backup.reg
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchFolder

2.


Next, save the following to a file with a .REG extension, such as Delete_SearchFolder_file_association.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SearchFolder]

3.


Run the above registry script on the target machine with the following command from an elevated command prompt:

Regedit.exe /s Delete_SearchFolder_file_association.reg

Impact of workaround. Double-clicking on a saved search folder will no longer open a window displaying the search results.

How to undo the workaround:

Using the Interactive Method

1.


Click Start, click Run, type Regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

2.


Click the File menu and select Import.

3.


In the Import Registry File dialog box, select SearchFolder_file_association_registry_backup.reg and click Open.

Using a Managed Deployment Script

Restore the original state by running the following command:

Regedit.exe /s SearchFolder_registry_backup.reg
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FAQ for Windows Saved Search Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1435

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
The Windows Explorer does not correctly parse search files when saving them.

What is Windows Search?
Windows Search is a standard component of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that is enabled by default. Windows Search allows instant search capabilities for most common file and data types such as e-mail, contacts, calendar appointments, documents, photos, multimedia, and other formats extended by third parties. These capabilities enable consumers and information workers to more efficiently find, manage, and organize the increasing amount of data common in home and enterprise environments. For more information, see the Windows Search home page. Although Windows Search is an add-in for Windows XP, Windows XP systems are not affected by this issue.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code on a user’s system. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user open and save a specially crafted saved-search file with an affected version of Windows Explorer.

In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted saved-search file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file. After opening the file, the user would have to save the saved-search file in order for exploit to occur. The exploit occurs regardless of where the search is saved.

In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web site that contains a saved-search file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's site.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

What does the update do?
The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that Windows Explorer parses saved searches to correctly validate the content structure of all saved-search files.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
Yes. This vulnerability has been publicly disclosed. It has been assigned Common Vulnerability and Exposure number CVE-2008-1435. This security bulletin addresses the publicly disclosed vulnerability as well as additional issues discovered through internal investigations.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Other Information
Support


Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates.


International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions


V1.0 (July 8, 2008): Bulletin published.

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