Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook Express MHTML rendering engine incorrectly executes script in Local Computer Zone

ID VU:208052
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2003-08-12T15:55:00



There is an MHTML input validation vulnerability in Outlook Express that may lead to arbitrary command and code execution in the Local Computer Zone of a victim host.


Microsoft systems use components of Microsoft Outlook Express to render MHTML (MIME Encapsulation of Aggregate HTML) when viewing files. Internet Explorer also relies on the MHTML rendering engine in Outlook Express when displaying web pages.

The MHTML rendering engine in Outlook Express does not validate the type of file being processed. This may lead to web script executing in the Local Computer Zone, which may give remote attackers control of victim systems.

Microsoft has released patches to resolve this issue in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-014, _Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express (330994)._Microsoft also reports that if the patches for MS03-004 have already been applied, only files already present on a target system may be executed.


By exploiting this vulnerability, an attacker may be able to launch programs on a victim's computer in the Local Computer Zone. If an attacker can guess, discover, or know the file path of programs already installed on a victim computer, he may be able to execute arbitrary commands. Additionally, if an attacker can access files he may have downloaded to a victim system, he would be able to execute arbitrary code.


Apply patches for Outlook Express found in MS03-014.

Vendor Information


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Microsoft Corporation __ Affected

Updated: August 01, 2003



Vendor Statement

Please see MS03-014, Cumulative Patch for Outlook Express (330994):


Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


The CERT/CC has no additional comments at this time. Please see VU#208052 for more details.

If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.

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Acknowledgements has been acknowledged as the discoverer of this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jeffrey S. Havrilla.

Other Information

CVE IDs: | CVE-2002-0980
Severity Metric: | 37.80
Date Public: | 2003-05-01
Date First Published: | 2003-08-02
Date Last Updated: | 2003-08-12 15:55 UTC
Document Revision: | 19