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Microsoft Windows Operating System Compressed Folders Allow Arbitrary Code to Be Executed
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1005335|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1005335
(Links to External Site)
Date: Oct 3 2002
Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes |
A buffer overflow vulnerability was reported in the file decompression components of Microsoft Windows 98, Me, and XP. A remote user could supply a malicious zip file that, when opened by the target user, would cause arbitrary code to be executed on the target user's computer.|
A buffer overflow vulnerability reportedly exists in the software that decompresses files from a zipped archive. A malformed filename could cause Windows to crash or to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the target user.
Microsoft reported that on Windows 98 with Plus! Pack, Windows Me, and Windows XP, the "Compressed Folders" feature allows zipped files to be treated by the operating system as folders. This function is apparently not installed by default on Windows 98.
Microsoft credits Joe Testa of Rapid7, Inc. with reporting this flaw.
[Editor's note: A similar flaw was reported in Aladdin file decompression utilities for the Macintosh and Windows operating systems. See the separate alert for details.]
A remote user could supply a malicious zip file that, when opened by the target user, would cause arbitrary code to be executed on the target user's computer. However, the target user must take action to trigger the flaw. The code would run with the privileges of the target user.|
The vendor has released patches:|
For Windows 98 with Plus! Pack:
Fir Windows Me:
User Windows Update.
For Windows XP:
According to the bulletin, this patch can be installed on Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition, on Windows Millennium Edition, or on Windows XP Gold and Windows XP Service Pack 1.
Microsoft plans to include the fix in Windows XP SP2. The fix is already included in Windows XP SP1.
Microsoft plans to issue Knowledge Base article Q329048 regarding this issue, to be
available shortly on the Microsoft Online Support web site:
Vendor URL: www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-054.asp (Links to External Site)
Windows (Me), Windows (98), Windows (XP)|
Source Message Contents
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2002 20:35:30 -0700|
Subject: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-054: Unchecked Buffer in File Decompression Functions Could Lead to Code Execution (Q329048)
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Title: Unchecked Buffer in File Decompression Functions Could
Lead to Code Execution (Q329048)
Date: 02 October 2002
Software: Microsoft Windows 98 with Plus! Pack, Windows Me,
or Windows XP
Impact: Two vulnerabilities, the most serious of which could
run code of attacker?s choice
Max Risk: Moderate
Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at:
Zipped files (files having a .zip extension) provide a means to
store information in a way that uses less space on a hard disk. This
is accomplished by compressing the files that are put into in the
zipped file. On Windows 98 with Plus! Pack, Windows Me and Windows
XP, the Compressed Folders feature allows zipped files to be treated
as folders. The Compressed Folders feature can be used to create,
add files to, and extract files from zipped files.
Two vulnerabilities exist in the Compressed Folders function:
- An unchecked buffer exists in the programs that handles the
decompressing of files from a zipped file. A security
vulnerability results because attempts to open a file with
a specially malformed filename contained in a zipped file could
possibly result in Windows Explorer failing, or in code of the
attacker?s choice being run.
- The decompression function could place a file in a directory
that was not the same as, or a child of, the target directory
specified by the user as where the decompressed zip files should
be placed. This could allow an attacker to put a file in a known
location on the users system, such as placing a program in a
- The vulnerabilities could not be exploited without user
intervention. The attacker would need to entice the user to
receive, store, and open the zipped file provided by the
- The vulnerabilities could not be exploited remotely. An attacker
would need to lure a user into receiving the zipped file onto
the user?s machine. Best practices suggest users not accept
e-mail attachments from people who are not trusted, and not to
download files from untrusted Internet sites.
- On Windows 98 and Windows Me, the Compressed Folders feature is
not installed by default. Users who had not installed this
feature would not be vulnerable.
- Internet systems: Low
- Intranet systems: Low
- Client systems: Moderate
- A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the
Security Bulletin at
for information on obtaining this patch.
- Joe Testa of Rapid7, Inc. (http://www.rapid7.com/) for reporting
the Unchecked Buffer in Zipped File Handling vulnerability.
- zen-parse for reporting the Incorrect Target Path for Zipped
File Decompression vulnerability.
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.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: PGP 7.1
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
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