Microsoft Windows Active Template Library contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
This vulnerability exists due to improper memory operations on invalid data. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to visit a malicious website. If the user views the site, the attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates that correct it.
Indicators of Compromise
Multiple components of the following Microsoft systems are vulnerable:
Windows 2000 SP4 and prior
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005
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 SP2 and prior
Windows Vista SP2 and prior
Windows Vista x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems SP2 and prior
The vulnerability exists within the Microsoft Active Template Library. Any application relying upon the library may be leveraged to exploit the vulnerability, including ActiveX controls that may be instantiated within Internet Explorer.
This vulnerability exists due to improper memory operations on invalid data. When the Microsoft Active Template Library (ATL) reads data from an input stream, that data input may be set to an invalid type. The deletion of the data from memory could trigger an error condition, corrupting memory areas.
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to visit a malicious website designed to pass malformed data to an ActiveX control relying upon the ATL. The processing of the malformed data could cause memory corruption that the attacker could leverage to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
An attacker cannot directly exploit this vulnerability and instead relies upon user participation in order to accomplish an exploit. The attacker must convince a user to view a malicious website. The attacker may provide links to users within e-mail messages or post malicious content on public websites in an attempt to launch exploits against any users visiting the website.
Because the vulnerability exists in the Microsoft ATL rather than the ATL included with Visual Studio, the exposure of this vulnerability may be reduced. Applications are much more likely to use the Visual Studio ATL, making identification and targeting of an application affected by this vulnerability more difficult.
The update available from Microsoft corrects this vulnerability by properly checking stream data reads.
Administrators are advised to apply the applicable software updates.
Users should verify that unsolicited links are safe to follow.
Administrators are advised to use an unprivileged account for routine activities.
Additional safeguards are available in Microsoft Security Advisory 973882.
Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-037
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.
THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DOES NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR USE. YOUR USE OF THE INFORMATION ON THE DOCUMENT OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM
THE DOCUMENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE ALERTS AT ANY TIME.
A standalone copy or paraphrase of the text of this document that omits the distribution URL is an uncontrolled copy and may lack important information or contain factual errors. The information in this document is intended for end users of Cisco products
Cisco Multivendor Vulnerability Alerts respond to vulnerabilities identified in third-party vendors' products. These alerts contain information compiled from diverse sources and provide comprehensive technical descriptions, objective analytical assessments, workarounds and practical safeguards, and links to vendor advisories and patches.