Security Bulletin MS02-060: Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion (Q328940)

2002-10-17T00:00:00
ID SECURITYVULNS:DOC:3649
Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2002-10-17T00:00:00

Description

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----


Title: Flaw in Windows XP Help and Support Center Could Enable File Deletion (Q328940) Date: 16 October 2002 Software: Microsoft Windows XP Impact: Delete files on the user's system Max Risk: Moderate Bulletin: MS02-060

Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-060.asp.


Issue:

Help and Support Center provides a centralized facility through which users can obtain assistance on a variety of topics. For instance, it provides product documentation, assistance in determining hardware compatibility, access to Windows Update, online help from Microsoft, and other assistance.

A security vulnerability is present in the Windows XP version of Help and Support Center, and results because a file intended only for use by the system is instead available for use by any web page. The purpose of the file is to enable anonymous upload of hardware information, with the user's permission, so that Microsoft can evaluate which devices users are not currently finding device drivers for. This information is then used to work with hardware vendors and device teams to improve the quality and quantity of drivers available in Windows. By design, after attempting to upload an XML file containing the hardware information, the system deletes it.

An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a web page that, when opened, would call the errant function and supply the name of an existing file or folder as the argument. The attempt to upload the file or folder would fail, but the file nevertheless would be deleted. The page could be hosted on a web site in order to attack users visiting the site, or could be sent as an HTML mail in order to attack the recipient when it was opened.

Mitigating Factors:

    • Customers who have applied Windows XP Service Pack 1 are at no risk from the vulnerability.
    • The vulnerability could not be exploited without some degree of user interaction. Even in the most attacker-favorable case, the Help and Support Center window would appear unexpectedly and the file deletion could not occur until the user responded. (Even selecting Cancel, though, would enable the deletion to occur). If the user killed the process rather than responding, the deletion could not occur.
    • For an attack to be successful, the user would need to visit a website under the attacker's control or receive an HTML e-mail from the attacker.
    • The vulnerability would not enable an attacker to take any action other than deleting files. It would not grant any form of administrative control over the system, nor would it enable the attacker to read or modify files.
    • The Help and Support Center function could not be started automatically in Outlook Express or Outlook if the user is running Internet Explorer 6.0 Service Pack 1, or in Outlook 2002 if "Read as Plain Text" is enabled.
    • In order to delete a file, the attacker would need to know its exact file and path name. To delete a folder, the attacker would need to know its exact path.
    • If the attacker used the vulnerability to disrupt system operation, Automatic System Recovery would provide a means of restoring normal operation. In addition, Windows XP will automatically restore many system files if deleted.

Risk Rating:

  • Internet systems: Low
  • Intranet systems: Low
  • Client systems: Moderate

Patch Availability:

  • A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the Security Bulletin at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms02-060.asp for information on obtaining this patch.

Acknowledgment:

  • Shane Hird of the Distributed Systems Technology Centre (http://security.dstc.edu.au)

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

iQEVAwUBPa3ok40ZSRQxA/UrAQEI5gf/Ta+C519in01tGvgXUWh4r5KN3puQng9P 4QQjKPTekbtYnXW2dIA/XyYpj2wAeX/dQbAU23R9uJ1x6tsRzYRMpinxn5qPggFQ Se36mH1dmBGZ94pcAzT4ueb7yZUHSd/Gj6iRK+s2/QcX+fCvPYN3pyEaaGzOY50d IF9N8jHg+rd285PI6cRDQX3FKGsAa17mpsaNHKh8heOOIWVoc8bJzBRIBao6yTjA WwWoRQ+K2bwqEmkjvvslUwRoaViMvgSkU8PK7L7TeoT9OeMzi87dSCZhNXr/5jSS JhkonkBcEcIMzp4y22SMywJQDu6kh5TPnf5L4lqvYC+eCCtF4Yir6w== =5L2I -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----


You have received this e-mail bulletin because of your subscription to the Microsoft Product Security Notification Service. For more information on this service, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/notify.asp.

To verify the digital signature on this bulletin, please download our PGP key at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/notify.asp.

To unsubscribe from the Microsoft Security Notification Service, please visit the Microsoft Profile Center at http://register.microsoft.com/regsys/pic.asp

If you do not wish to use Microsoft Passport, you can unsubscribe from the Microsoft Security Notification Service via email as described below: Reply to this message with the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the Subject line.

For security-related information about Microsoft products, please visit the Microsoft Security Advisor web site at http://www.microsoft.com/security.