Microsoft has released a security bulletin along with software updates to address the Windows DirectShow QuickTime media processing arbitrary code execution vulnerability.
Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 contain a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
The vulnerability exists because Microsoft DirectShow does not properly handle QuickTime media files. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malformed QuickTime media file, which may be hosted on a malicious website. An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user, which may allow the attacker to completely compromise an affected system.
Functional exploit code that exploits this vulnerability is reportedly being used in limited, active attacks.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
Microsoft DirectShow components of DirectX versions 7.0, 8.1, and 9.0 are vulnerable when running on the following platforms:
Windows 2000 SP4 and prior
Windows XP SP3 and prior
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems with SP2 and prior
Attackers may use e-mail messages, instant messages, social networks, or other communications to deliver a malicious QuickTime file or a link to a malicious website that hosts such a file. These messages may use social engineering techniques to entice the user to view a video, possibly relying on current events or other appealing content to do so.
An attacker cannot directly exploit this vulnerability but must rely on a user to open a malformed QuickTime media file or visit a malicious website. Although this factor may limit automatic exploitation of this vulnerability, the popularity of online video content and the possibility for social engineering to generate strong enticement for users may elevate the risk posed that this vulnerability poses.
Because the Windows Explorer interface may use the vulnerable component to preview files, it may not be necessary for attackers to convince a user to open a file for an exploit to occur. The attacker may only need to convince the user to download the file. Whenever the user views the directory containing the file, the preview of the file may trigger the vulnerability. File previews may also work on remote drive shares, removing the requirement for an attacker to place a file on the user's system, reducing the complexity of an attack.
The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created an Applied Mitigation Bulletin to address vulnerabilities that Microsoft disclosed in the July 2009 security bulletin release. This Cisco bulletin, which assists administrators in identifying or mitigating these vulnerabilities using Cisco devices, is available at the following link: Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletin: Microsoft Security Bulletin for July 2009
The update available from Microsoft corrects this vulnerability by improving the handling of QuickTime content by the vulnerable component.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-028
Microsoft has released a security advisory at the following link: 971778
An exploit of this vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of a user who viewed a malformed QuickTime media file. If the user possesses elevated privileges, the attacker may be able to gain complete control over an affected system.
The vulnerability exists because the QuickTime Movie Parser Filter functionality of the quartz.dll library in the Microsoft Windows DirectShow component does not properly handle malformed QuickTime media files. Because the QuickTime Movie Parser Filter has been removed from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, these platforms are not affected by this vulnerability.
An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malformed QuickTime media file that calls the quartz.dll system library. This vulnerability is exploitable regardless of whether Apple QuickTime is installed on an affected system. It is therefore possible to deliver an exploit through a local file using Windows Media Player or any browser that supports QuickTime playback via this system library. An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code.
Additional technical details are not available.
Administrators are advised to apply the available software update.
Administrators are advised to warn users not to view media files from untrusted sources.
Administrators may consider setting ACLs on quartz.dll to prevent users from accessing it.
Administrators may consider unregistering quartz.dll.
Users are advised not to follow unsolicited links. Users should verify the authenticity of unexpected links prior to following them.
Users are advised not to open unexpected e-mail attachments or executables from untrusted sources.
Users are advised to run applications with the least necessary privileges.
Microsoft customers can obtain updates directly by using the links in the security bulletin. These updates are also distributed by Windows automatic update features and available on the Windows Update website. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server, and System Center Configuration Manager can assist administrators in deploying software updates.
Cisco Systems Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) 6.0
Version 2, June 3, 2009, 8:42 AM: Microsoft has released a tool that will disable QuickTime parsing without requiring registry editing.
Version 1, May 29, 2009, 9:35 AM: Microsoft Windows DirectShow contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code. Updates are not available, and Microsoft has indicated that limited, active attacks are occurring.
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