Microsoft Windows 2000 Internet Information Server (IIS) and Exchange 2000 vulnerable to DoS via malformed URL (MS01-014)

ID VU:796584
Type cert
Reporter CERT
Modified 2001-09-18T00:00:00



A vulnerability that affects Microsoft IIS 5.0 and Exchange 2000 allows an intruder to disrupt IIS web services and web-based mail services served via an Exchange server.


Microsoft IIS 5.0 contains a vulnerability that allows an intruder to cause a memory allocation error by repeatedly submitting a malicious URL, and thus cause IIS to fail. Additionally, Exchange 2000 is affected by a similar problem. According to Microsoft:

To support web-based mail clients, [Exchange] introduces the ability to address items on the store via URLs. This is done in part by using IIS 5.0, and in part via code that is specific to Exchange 2000. Both pieces of code contain the flaw, but the effect of exploiting the vulnerability via either would be the same -- it could be used to cause the IIS service to fail, but could not be used to attack the Exchange service itself. That is, successfully attacking an Exchange server via this vulnerability would disrupt web-based mail clients' use of the server, but not that of MAPI-based mail clients like Outlook.

By default, IIS 5.0 will automatically restart after a failure and resume normal operations.


Intruders can interrupt the normal operation of IIS 5.0. If the attack is against a web server, web services will be disrupted. If the attack is against an Exchange server, web-based mail service will be disrupted, but not MAPI-based mail service. In either case, IIS is the component that fails.


Apply a path as described in MS01-014. Note that this bulletin actually describes two patches, one for IIS and one for Exchange. It is necessary to install both patches to protect Exchange servers. Alternately, to protect a web server running IIS (but not Exchange) you can install the cumulative patch described in MS01-044.

Systems Affected

Vendor| Status| Date Notified| Date Updated
Microsoft| | -| 18 Sep 2001
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics

Group | Score | Vector
Base | N/A | N/A
Temporal | N/A | N/A
Environmental | N/A | N/A


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This document was written by Shawn Hernan, based on information in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-044 .

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2001-0146
  • Date Public: 01 Mar 2001
  • Date First Published: 18 Sep 2001
  • Date Last Updated: 18 Sep 2001
  • Document Revision: 5