Exchange Calendar MODPROPS Denial of Service (CVE-2007-0039)

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2007-05-10T00:00:00


Determina Security Research

Exchange Calendar MODPROPS Denial of Service

CVE ID: CVE-2007-0039 MS ID: MS07-026

Vendor notification: Dec 20, 2006 Vendor patch: May 8, 2007

Systems Affected:

  • Exchange 2000
  • Exchange 2003


Determina Security Research has discovered a denial of service vulnerability in the code responsible for parsing iCal email attachments in Microsoft Exchange. This vulnerability can be exploited by a malicious email message and results in a denial of service. The vulnerable code is present in Exchange 2000 and 2003.

Microsoft fixed a related vulnerability with the MS06-019 security update, but their fix introduced a new denial of service bug. Determina Security Research was able to develop a proof-of-concept exploit that works against fully-patched Exchange servers.

Technical Details:

The iCal file format is described in detail in RFC2445. The file consists of a series of records, delimited by BEGIN and END tags. Each record can have multiple named properties. The iCal parser in Exchange maintains a table of properties valid in the current context and switches to the appropriate table upon entering a new record.

The X-MICROSOFT-CDO-MODPROPS property is an undocumented Microsoft extension which allows the iCal file to specify a list of properties that are considered valid in a specific record. All other properties will be ignored by Exchange. The following example shows a typical usage of this feature:


In this example, the SUMMARY property will not be processed by Exchange.

When the parser encounters the MODPROPS property, it calls CICalSchema::AllocPropTables to allocate a new table of valid properties. The pointer to the new table is stored in this->field_F0 and the list of valid properties is copied into the table. If there is a second MODPROPS property, the function will be called again and will reuse the previousely allocated table. If the second MODPROPS element is longer than the first one, the copy loop will write past the end of the table.

This vulnerability was fixed in MS06-019 by adding a call to CICalSchema::FreePropTables in the beginning of the AllocPropTables function. This ensures that the previous property table is freed and AllocPropTables allocates a new one of sufficient size.

Unfortunately, FreePropTables also sets the this->field_28 pointer to NULL. The NULL pointer is later used in a memcpy operation in AllocPropTables and causes an unhandled exception, resulting in a crash of Exchange.

// Allocate a new property table

int CICalSchema::AllocPropTables(arg_0, arg_4) { this->FreePropTables();


// Allocate space for the new table

if (this->field_F0 == NULL)
    this->field_F0 = new(vector_size*16);


// NULL pointer dereference of this->field_28
memcpy(&this->field_F4[offset_F4], &this->field_28[index*20], 20);


// Free the property table

void CICalSchema::FreePropTables() { if (this->field_F0 != NULL) { ...

    this->field_F0 = NULL;

if (this->field_F4 != NULL) {
    if (this->field_28 == this->field_F4) {
        this->field_28 = NULL;      // set this->field_28 to NULL
        this->field_1C = 0;

    this->field_F4 = NULL;




Determina VPS Server protects against the exploitation of this vulnerability.

Vendor response:

Microsoft issued the MS07-026 patch on May 8, 2007.


Discovery: Alexander Sotirov, Determina Security Research