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Related information

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  Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-048 - Important Security Update for Outlook Express and Windows Mail (951066)

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:12.08.2008
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-045 - Critical Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (953838)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-045 - Critical
Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (953838)
Published: August 12, 2008

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves five privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability. All of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted Web page using Internet Explorer. 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 Critical for all supported releases of Internet Explorer. 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 Internet Explorer handles the error resulting in the exploitable condition. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately.

Known Issues. None
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Affected and Non-Affected Software

The software listed here 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 Component Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by This Update
Internet Explorer 5.01 and Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1

Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031
Internet Explorer 6

Windows XP Service Pack 2


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows XP Service Pack 3


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031
Internet Explorer 7

Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

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


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Windows Internet Explorer 7


Remote Code Execution


Critical


MS08-031

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation not affected. The vulnerability addressed by this update does not affect supported editions of Windows Server 2008 if 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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
The file information details can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 953838.

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 releases, visit the Microsoft Product Support Services Web site.

Customers who require custom support for older software 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 the Microsoft Worldwide Information Web site, 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 HTML Object Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2254 HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2255 Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2256 HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2257 HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2258 HTML Component Handling Vulnerability - CVE-2008-2259 Aggregate Severity Rating

Internet Explorer 5.01 Service Pack 4 when installed on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


N/A


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


N/A


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 when installed on Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista Service Pack 1


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista x64 Edition and Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Moderate

Remote Code Execution


Critical

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation not affected. The vulnerability addressed by this update does not affect supported editions of Windows Server 2008 if 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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HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2254

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Internet Explorer due to attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Web page. When a user views the Web page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2254.

Mitigating Factors for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2254


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.


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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


By default, all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express open HTML e-mail messages in the Restricted sites zone. The Restricted sites zone helps mitigate attacks that could try to exploit this vulnerability by preventing Active Scripting and ActiveX controls from being used when reading HTML e-mail messages. However, if a user clicks a link in an e-mail message, the user could still be vulnerable to exploitation of this vulnerability through the Web-based attack scenario.


By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 run in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. This mode sets the security level for the Internet zone to High. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See the FAQ subsection of this vulnerability section for more information about Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.
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Workarounds for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2254

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:


Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone. To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.

2.


Click the Security tab.

3.


Click Internet, and then click Custom Level.

4.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

5.


Click Local intranet, and then click Custom Level.

6.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

7.


Click OK two times to return to Internet Explorer.

Note Disabling Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zones may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use Active Scripting to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to “High” to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings for the Internet security zone to prompt before running ActiveX controls and Active Scripting. You can do this by setting your browser security to High.

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:

1.


On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.

2.


In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click the Internet icon.

3.


Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all Web sites you visit to High.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

Note Setting the level to High may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly even with the security setting set to High.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use ActiveX or Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use ActiveX Controls to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Read e-mail messages in plain text format if you are using Microsoft Outlook 2002 or a later version, or Outlook Express 6 SP1 or a later version, to help protect yourself from the HTML e-mail attack vector.

Microsoft Outlook 2002 users who have applied Office XP Service Pack 1 or a later version and Microsoft Outlook Express 6 users who have applied Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 or a later version can enable this setting and view e-mail messages that are not digitally signed or e-mail messages that are not encrypted in plain text only.

Digitally signed e-mail messages or encrypted e-mail messages are not affected by the setting and may be read in their original formats. For more information about how to enable this setting in Outlook 2002, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307594.

For information about this setting in Outlook Express 6, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 291387.

Impact of Workaround: E-mail messages that are viewed in plain text format will not contain pictures, specialized fonts, animations, or other rich content. Additionally:


The changes are applied to the preview pane and to open messages.


Pictures become attachments so that they are not lost.


Because the message is still in Rich Text or HTML format in the store, the object model (custom code solutions) may behave unexpectedly.
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FAQ for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2254

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

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?
When Internet Explorer attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations, it may corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the Web site. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These Web sites 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site. It could also be possible to display specially crafted Web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver Web content to affected systems.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user be logged on and visit a Web site for any malicious action to occur. Therefore, any systems where Internet Explorer is used frequently, such as workstations or terminal servers, are at the most risk from this vulnerability.

I am running Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Does this mitigate this vulnerability?
Yes. By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 runs in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. Enhanced Security Configuration is a group of preconfigured settings in Internet Explorer that can reduce the likelihood of a user or administrator downloading and running specially crafted Web content on a server. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See also Managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Internet Explorer handles the error resulting in the exploitable condition.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

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.
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HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2255

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Internet Explorer due to attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Web page. When a user views the Web page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2255.

Mitigating Factors for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2255


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.


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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


By default, all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express open HTML e-mail messages in the Restricted sites zone. The Restricted sites zone helps mitigate attacks that could try to exploit this vulnerability by preventing Active Scripting and ActiveX controls from being used when reading HTML e-mail messages. However, if a user clicks a link in an e-mail message, the user could still be vulnerable to exploitation of this vulnerability through the Web-based attack scenario.


By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 run in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. This mode sets the security level for the Internet zone to High. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See the FAQ subsection of this vulnerability section for more information about Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.
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Workarounds for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2255

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:


Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone. To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.

2.


Click the Security tab.

3.


Click Internet, and then click Custom Level.

4.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

5.


Click Local intranet, and then click Custom Level.

6.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

7.


Click OK two times to return to Internet Explorer.

Note Disabling Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zones may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use Active Scripting to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to “High” to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings for the Internet security zone to prompt before running ActiveX controls and Active Scripting. You can do this by setting your browser security to High.

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:

1.


On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.

2.


In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click the Internet icon.

3.


Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all Web sites you visit to High.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

Note Setting the level to High may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly even with the security setting set to High.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use ActiveX or Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use ActiveX Controls to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Read e-mail messages in plain text format if you are using Microsoft Outlook 2002 or a later version, or Outlook Express 6 SP1 or a later version, to help protect yourself from the HTML e-mail attack vector.

Microsoft Outlook 2002 users who have applied Office XP Service Pack 1 or a later version and Microsoft Outlook Express 6 users who have applied Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 or a later version can enable this setting and view e-mail messages that are not digitally signed or e-mail messages that are not encrypted in plain text only.

Digitally signed e-mail messages or encrypted e-mail messages are not affected by the setting and may be read in their original formats. For more information about how to enable this setting in Outlook 2002, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307594.

For information about this setting in Outlook Express 6, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 291387.

Impact of Workaround: E-mail messages that are viewed in plain text format will not contain pictures, specialized fonts, animations, or other rich content. Additionally:


The changes are applied to the preview pane and to open messages.


Pictures become attachments so that they are not lost.


Because the message is still in Rich Text or HTML format in the store, the object model (custom code solutions) may behave unexpectedly.
Top of sectionTop of section

FAQ for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2255

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

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?
When Internet Explorer attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations, it may corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the Web site. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These Web sites 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site. It could also be possible to display specially crafted Web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver Web content to affected systems.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user be logged on and visit a Web site for any malicious action to occur. Therefore, any systems where Internet Explorer is used frequently, such as workstations or terminal servers, are at the most risk from this vulnerability.

I am running Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Does this mitigate this vulnerability?
Yes. By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 runs in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. Enhanced Security Configuration is a group of preconfigured settings in Internet Explorer that can reduce the likelihood of a user or administrator downloading and running specially crafted Web content on a server. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See also Managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Internet Explorer handles the error resulting in the exploitable condition.

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-2008-2255.

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.
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Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2256

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way Internet Explorer accesses an object that has not been correctly initialized or that has been deleted. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Web page. When a user views the Web page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2256.

Mitigating Factors for Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2256


None
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Workarounds for Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2256


None
Top of sectionTop of section

FAQ for Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2256

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

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?
Internet Explorer attempts to access an object which has not been initialized or has been deleted. As a result, memory may be corrupted in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the logged-on user.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the Web site. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These Web sites 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site. It could also be possible to display specially crafted Web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver Web content to affected systems.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user be logged on and visit a Web site for any malicious action to occur. Therefore, any systems where Internet Explorer is used frequently, such as workstations or terminal servers, are at the most risk from this vulnerability.

I am running Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Does this mitigate this vulnerability?
No.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Internet Explorer handles errors when calls are made to objects that are no longer initialized.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

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.
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HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2257 and CVE-2008-2258

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Internet Explorer due to attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Web page. When a user views the Web page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2257 and CVE-2008-2258.

Mitigating Factors for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2257 and CVE-2008-2258


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.


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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


By default, all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Express open HTML e-mail messages in the Restricted sites zone. The Restricted sites zone helps mitigate attacks that could try to exploit this vulnerability by preventing Active Scripting and ActiveX controls from being used when reading HTML e-mail messages. However, if a user clicks a link in an e-mail message, the user could still be vulnerable to exploitation of this vulnerability through the Web-based attack scenario.


By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 run in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. This mode sets the security level for the Internet zone to High. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See the FAQ subsection of this vulnerability section for more information about Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.
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Workarounds for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2257 and CVE-2008-2258

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:


Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone. To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.

2.


Click the Security tab.

3.


Click Internet, and then click Custom Level.

4.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

5.


Click Local intranet, and then click Custom Level.

6.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

7.


Click OK two times to return to Internet Explorer.

Note Disabling Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zones may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use Active Scripting to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to “High” to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings for the Internet security zone to prompt before running ActiveX controls and Active Scripting. You can do this by setting your browser security to High.

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:

1.


On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.

2.


In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click the Internet icon.

3.


Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all Web sites you visit to High.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

Note Setting the level to High may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly even with the security setting set to High.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use ActiveX or Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use ActiveX Controls to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Read e-mail messages in plain text format if you are using Microsoft Outlook 2002 or a later version, or Outlook Express 6 SP1 or a later version, to help protect yourself from the HTML e-mail attack vector.

Microsoft Outlook 2002 users who have applied Office XP Service Pack 1 or a later version and Microsoft Outlook Express 6 users who have applied Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 or a later version can enable this setting and view e-mail messages that are not digitally signed or e-mail messages that are not encrypted in plain text only.

Digitally signed e-mail messages or encrypted e-mail messages are not affected by the setting and may be read in their original formats. For more information about how to enable this setting in Outlook 2002, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 307594.

For information about this setting in Outlook Express 6, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 291387.

Impact of Workaround: E-mail messages that are viewed in plain text format will not contain pictures, specialized fonts, animations, or other rich content. Additionally:


The changes are applied to the preview pane and to open messages.


Pictures become attachments so that they are not lost.


Because the message is still in Rich Text or HTML format in the store, the object model (custom code solutions) may behave unexpectedly.
Top of sectionTop of section

FAQ for HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2257 and CVE-2008-2258

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

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?
When Internet Explorer attempts to access uninitialized memory in certain situations, it may corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the Web site. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These Web sites 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site. It could also be possible to display specially crafted Web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver Web content to affected systems.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user be logged on and visit a Web site for any malicious action to occur. Therefore, any systems where Internet Explorer is used frequently, such as workstations or terminal servers, are at the most risk from this vulnerability.

I am running Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Does this mitigate this vulnerability?
Yes. By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 runs in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. Enhanced Security Configuration is a group of preconfigured settings in Internet Explorer that can reduce the likelihood of a user or administrator downloading and running specially crafted Web content on a server. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See also Managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Internet Explorer handles the error resulting in the exploitable condition.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

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.
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HTML Component Handling Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2259

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way Internet Explorer handles argument validation in print preview handling. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Web page. When a user views the Web page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same rights as the logged on user.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2008-2259.

Mitigating Factors for HTML Component Handling Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2259


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.


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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 run in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. This mode sets the security level for the Internet zone to High. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See the FAQ subsection of this vulnerability section for more information about Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.
Top of sectionTop of section

Workarounds for HTML Component Handling Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2259

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:


Configure Internet Explorer to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings to prompt before running Active Scripting or to disable Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zone. To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.

2.


Click the Security tab.

3.


Click Internet, and then click Custom Level.

4.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

5.


Click Local intranet, and then click Custom Level.

6.


Under Settings, in the Scripting section, under Active Scripting, click Prompt or Disable, and then click OK.

7.


Click OK two times to return to Internet Explorer.

Note Disabling Active Scripting in the Internet and Local intranet security zones may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use Active Scripting to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".


Set Internet and Local intranet security zone settings to “High” to prompt before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting in these zones

You can help protect against exploitation of this vulnerability by changing your settings for the Internet security zone to prompt before running ActiveX controls and Active Scripting. You can do this by setting your browser security to High.

To raise the browsing security level in Internet Explorer, follow these steps:

1.


On the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options.

2.


In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, and then click the Internet icon.

3.


Under Security level for this zone, move the slider to High. This sets the security level for all Web sites you visit to High.

Note If no slider is visible, click Default Level, and then move the slider to High.

Note Setting the level to High may cause some Web sites to work incorrectly. If you have difficulty using a Web site after you change this setting, and you are sure the site is safe to use, you can add that site to your list of trusted sites. This will allow the site to work correctly even with the security setting set to High.

Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone

After you set Internet Explorer to require a prompt before it runs ActiveX controls and Active Scripting in the Internet zone and in the Local intranet zone, you can add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. This will allow you to continue to use trusted Web sites exactly as you do today, while helping to protect you from this attack on untrusted sites. We recommend that you add only sites that you trust to the Trusted sites zone.

To do this, follow these steps:

1.


In Internet Explorer, click Tools, click Internet Options, and then click the Security tab.

2.


In the Select a Web content zone to specify its current security settings box, click Trusted Sites, and then click Sites.

3.


If you want to add sites that do not require an encrypted channel, click to clear the Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone check box.

4.


In the Add this Web site to the zone box, type the URL of a site that you trust, and then click Add.

5.


Repeat these steps for each site that you want to add to the zone.

6.


Click OK two times to accept the changes and return to Internet Explorer.

Note Add any sites that you trust not to take malicious action on your system. Two in particular that you may want to add are *.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and *.update.microsoft.com. These are the sites that will host the update, and it requires an ActiveX Control to install the update.

Impact of Workaround: There are side effects to prompting before running ActiveX Controls and Active Scripting. Many Web sites that are on the Internet or on an intranet use ActiveX or Active Scripting to provide additional functionality. For example, an online e-commerce site or banking site may use ActiveX Controls to provide menus, ordering forms, or even account statements. Prompting before running ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting is a global setting that affects all Internet and intranet sites. You will be prompted frequently when you enable this workaround. For each prompt, if you feel you trust the site that you are visiting, click Yes to run ActiveX Controls or Active Scripting. If you do not want to be prompted for all these sites, use the steps outlined in "Add sites that you trust to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone".
Top of sectionTop of section

FAQ for HTML Component Handling Vulnerability – CVE-2008-2259

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user.

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?
Internet Explorer, under certain circumstances in processing print previews, incorrectly handles validation of arguments. As a result, a specially crafted web page could be displayed in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the logged-on user. 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 might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
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 impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could host a specially crafted Web site that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to visit the Web site. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These Web sites 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. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site. It could also be possible to display specially crafted Web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver Web content to affected systems.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user be logged on and visit a Web site for any malicious action to occur. Therefore, any systems where Internet Explorer is used frequently, such as workstations or terminal servers, are at the most risk from this vulnerability.

I am running Internet Explorer for Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. Does this mitigate this vulnerability?
Yes. By default, Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 runs in a restricted mode that is known as Enhanced Security Configuration. Enhanced Security Configuration is a group of preconfigured settings in Internet Explorer that can reduce the likelihood of a user or administrator downloading and running specially crafted Web content on a server. This is a mitigating factor for Web sites that you have not added to the Internet Explorer Trusted sites zone. See also Managing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Internet Explorer handles arguments passed to print previewing.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

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
Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:


Yamata Li of Palo Alto Networks for reporting HTML Object Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2008-2254.


Tavis Ormandy of the Google Security Team for reporting the Uninitialized Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2008-2256.


Sam Thomas, working with TippingPoint and the Zero Day Initiative, for reporting the HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2008-2257.


TippingPoint and the Zero Day Initiative for reporting the HTML Objects Memory Corruption Vulnerability CVE-2008-2258.
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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 (August 12th, 2008): Bulletin published.

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