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Posted Oct 16, 2003
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CERT Advisory CA-2003-27 - A number of vulnerabilities in both Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Exchange have been discovered with multiple bugs giving privilege escalation and remote command execution.

tags | advisory, remote, vulnerability
systems | windows
SHA-256 | ff6a783884bf7c388fa7d2f7cad1b147a397dc5ac7727f0a5675739263ee03f6


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CERT Advisory CA-2003-27 Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows
and Exchange

Original issue date: October 16, 2003
Last revised: --
Source: CERT/CC

A complete revision history is at the end of this file.

Systems Affected

* Multiple versions of Microsoft Windows (ME, NT 4.0, NT 4.0 TSE,
2000, XP, Server 2003)
* Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2000


There are multiple vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and Microsoft
Exchange, the most serious of which could allow remote attackers to
execute arbitrary code.

I. Description

There are a number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows and
Microsoft Exchange that could allow an attacker to gain administrative
control of a vulnerable system. The most serious of these
vulnerabilities allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute
arbitrary code with no action required on the part of the victim. For
detailed information, see the following vulnerability notes:

VU#575892 - Buffer overflow in Microsoft Windows Messenger Service
There is a buffer overflow in the Messenger service on most recent
versions of Microsoft Windows that could allow an attacker to
execute arbitrary code.
(Other resources: MS03-043, CAN-2003-0717)

VU#422156 - Microsoft Exchange Server fails to properly handle
specially crafted SMTP extended verb requests
Microsoft Exchange fails to handle certain SMTP extended verbs
correctly. In Exchange 5.5, this can lead to a denial-of-service
condition. In Exchange 2000, this could permit an attacker to run
arbitrary code.
(Other resources: MS03-046, CAN-2003-0714)

In addition, several other vulnerabilities may permit an attacker to
execute arbitrary code if the attacker can convince the victim to take
some specific action (e.g., viewing a web page or an HTML email
message). For detailed information, see the following vulnerability

VU#467036 - Microsoft Windows Help and Support Center contains
buffer overflow in code used to handle HCP protocol
There is a buffer overflow in the Microsoft Windows Help and
Support Center that could permit an attacker to execute arbitrary
code with SYSTEM privileges.
(Other resources: MS03-044, CAN-2003-0711)

VU#989932 - Microsoft Windows contains buffer overflow in Local
Troubleshooter ActiveX control (Tshoot.ocx)
Microsoft Windows ships with a troubleshooting application to
assist users with problems. A vulnerability in this application may
permit a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the
privileges of the current user.
(Other resources: MS03-042)

VU#838572 - Microsoft Windows Authenticode mechanism installs
ActiveX controls without prompting user
A vulnerability in Microsoft's Authenticode could allow a remote
attacker to install an untrusted ActiveX control on the victim's
system. The ActiveX control could run code of the attacker's
(Other resources: MS03-041, CAN-2003-0660)

VU#435444 - Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) contains cross-site
scripting vulnerability in the "Compose New Message" form
There is a cross-site scripting vulnerability in Microsoft Outlook
Web Access.
(Other resources: MS03-047, CAN-2003-0712)

Finally, there is a vulnerability in ListBox and ComboBox controls
that could allow a local user to gain elevated privileges. For
detailed information, see

VU#967668 - Microsoft Windows ListBox and ComboBox controls
vulnerable to buffer overflow when supplied crafted Windows message
There is a buffer overflow in a function called by the Microsoft
Windows ListBox and ComboBox controls that could allow a local
attacker to execute arbitrary code with privileges of the process
hosting the controls.
(Other resources: MS03-045, CAN-2003-0659)

II. Impact

The impact of these vulnerabilities ranges from denial of service to
the ability to execute arbitrary code.

III. Solution

Disable the Messenger Service

For VU#575892, Microsoft recommends first disabling the Messenger
service and then evaluating the need to apply the patch. If the
Messenger service is not required, leave it in the disabled state.
Apply the patch to make sure that systems are protected, especially if
the Messenger service is re-enabled. Instructions for disabling the
Messenger service can be found in VU#575892 and MS03-043.

Apply patches

Microsoft has provided patches for these problems. Details can be
found in the relevant Microsoft Security Bulletins. For many home
users, the simplest way to obtain these patches will be by running
Windows Update.

Appendix A. Vendor Information

This appendix contains information provided by vendors. When vendors
report new information, this section is updated, and the changes are
noted in the revision history. If a vendor is not listed below, we
have not received their authenticated, direct statement. Further
vendor information is available in the Systems Affected sections of
the vulnerability notes listed above.

Microsoft Corporation

Please see the following Microsoft Security Bulletins: MS03-041,
MS03-042, MS03-043, MS03-044, MS03-045, MS03-046, and MS03-047.

Appendix B. References

* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#575892 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#422156 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#467036 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#989932 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#838572 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#435444 -
* CERT/CC Vulnerability Note VU#967668 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -
* Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-041 -


Our thanks to Microsoft Corporation for the information contained in
their security bulletins. Microsoft has credited the following people
for their help in discovering and responding to these issues: Greg
Jones of KPMG UK and Cesar Cerrudo, The Last Stage of Delirium
Research Group, David Litchfield of Next Generation Security Software
Ltd., Brett Moore of Security-Assessment.com, Joao Gouveia, and Ory
Segal of Sanctum Inc.

Feedback can be directed to the authors, Shawn V. Hernan and Art

This document is available from:


CERT/CC Contact Information

Email: <cert@cert.org>
Phone: +1 412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline)
Fax: +1 412-268-6989
Postal address:
CERT Coordination Center
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3890

CERT/CC personnel answer the hotline 08:00-17:00 EST(GMT-5) /
EDT(GMT-4) Monday through Friday; they are on call for emergencies
during other hours, on U.S. holidays, and on weekends.

Using encryption

We strongly urge you to encrypt sensitive information sent by email.
Our public PGP key is available from


If you prefer to use DES, please call the CERT hotline for more

Getting security information

CERT publications and other security information are available from
our web site


To subscribe to the CERT mailing list for advisories and bulletins,
send email to <majordomo@cert.org>. Please include in the body of your

subscribe cert-advisory

* "CERT" and "CERT Coordination Center" are registered in the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office.

Any material furnished by Carnegie Mellon University and the Software
Engineering Institute is furnished on an "as is" basis. Carnegie
Mellon University makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or
implied as to any matter including, but not limited to, warranty of
fitness for a particular purpose or merchantability, exclusivity or
results obtained from use of the material. Carnegie Mellon University
does not make any warranty of any kind with respect to freedom from
patent, trademark, or copyright infringement.

Conditions for use, disclaimers, and sponsorship information

Copyright 2003 Carnegie Mellon University.

Revision History

October 16, 2003: Initial release

Version: PGP 6.5.8

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