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  Microsoft Windows Search information leak

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:10.06.2009
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-023 - Moderate Vulnerability in Windows Search Could Allow Information Disclosure (963093)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-023 - Moderate
Vulnerability in Windows Search Could Allow Information Disclosure (963093)
Published: June 9, 2009

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Windows Search. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if a user performs a search that returns a specially crafted file as the first result or if the user previews a specially crafted file from the search results. By default, the Windows Search component is not preinstalled on Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. It is an optional component available for download. Windows Search installed on supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is not affected by this vulnerability.

This security update is rated Moderate for Windows Search installed on all supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses this vulnerability by modifying how Windows Search restricts the environment within which scripts execute. 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. The majority of customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871.

For administrators and enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually, Microsoft recommends that customers consider applying the security update using update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service.

See also the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, later in this bulletin.

Known Issues. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 963093 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when installing this security update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues.
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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 Component Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update

Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3


Windows Search 4.0


Information Disclosure


Moderate


None

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0


Information Disclosure


Moderate


None

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0


Information Disclosure


Moderate


None

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0


Information Disclosure


Moderate


None

Non-Affected Software
Operating System Component

Windows Vista, Windows Vista Service Pack 1, and Windows Vista Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0

Windows Vista x64 Edition, Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1, and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems and Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2


Windows Search 4.0
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
Refer to the reference tables in the Security Update Deployment section for the location of the file information details.

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

The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the June bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.
Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Software Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability - CVE-2009-0239 Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows Search 4.0 installed on Windows XP Service Pack 2


Moderate
Information Disclosure


Moderate

Windows Search 4.0 installed on Windows XP Service Pack 3


Moderate
Information Disclosure


Moderate

Windows Search 4.0 installed on Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Moderate
Information Disclosure


Moderate

Windows Search 4.0 installed on Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2


Moderate
Information Disclosure


Moderate

Windows Search 4.0 installed on Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2


Moderate
Information Disclosure


Moderate
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Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability - CVE-2009-0239

An information disclosure vulnerability exists in Windows Search due to the way file previews are generated. Attempts to exploit this vulnerability require user interaction. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run a malicious HTML script that could disclose information, forward user data to a third party, or access any data on the affected systems that was accessible to the logged-on user. Note that this vulnerability would not allow an attacker to execute code or to elevate their user rights directly, but it could be used to produce information that could be used to try to further compromise the affected system.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2009-0239.

Mitigating Factors for Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability - CVE-2009-0239

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:


By default, the Windows Search component is not preinstalled on Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. This is an optional component available for download.


Windows Search installed on supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 is not affected by this vulnerability.
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Workarounds for Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability - CVE-2009-0239

Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.
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FAQ for Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability - CVE-2009-0239

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is an information disclosure vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run a malicious HTML script that could disclose information, forward user data to a third party, or access any data on the affected systems that was accessible to the logged-on user. Note that this vulnerability would not allow an attacker to execute code or to elevate their user rights directly, but it could be used to produce useful information that could be used to try to further compromise the affected system.

What causes the vulnerability?
Windows Search does not properly restrict the environment within which scripts execute.

What is Windows Search?
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 Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 940157.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run a malicious client-side script. If this malicious script were run, it would run with special permission that would not normally be granted to a script running on an Internet web page. These permissions could allow the disclosure sensitive information, the forwarding of user data to a third party, or access to data on the affected systems that was accessible to the logged-on user.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires a specially crafted file to be placed on the system or in an e-mail message in an indexed mail box. If a user performs a search that returns this file as the first result, arbitrary HTML script execution could occur. If the specially crafted file is not the first result, the user would need to select and preview the file in order for the exploit to occur.

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 this vulnerability by modifying how Windows Search restricts the environment within which scripts execute.

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:


Yair Amit of IBM Rational Application Security for reporting the Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability (CVE-2009-0239)
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Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)

To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections Web sites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Support


Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Security Support or 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates. For more information about available support options, see Microsoft Help and Support.


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 (June 9, 2009): Bulletin published.

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