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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-038 - Important

Vulnerability in Windows Explorer Could Allow Remote Code Execution (950582)


Version: 1.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a publicly reported vulnerability in Windows Explorer that could allow remote code execution when a specially crafted saved-search file is opened and saved. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses these vulnerabilities by modifying the way that Windows Explorer parses saved searches. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

Known Issues. None

Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software

Operating SystemMaximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by this Update
Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based SystemsRemote Code ExecutionImportantNone

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation affected. For supported editions of Windows Server 2008, this update applies, with the same severity rating, whether or not Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see Server Core. Note that the Server Core installation option does not apply to certain editions of Windows Server 2008; see Compare Server Core Installation Options.

Non-Affected Software

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows XP Service Pack 3
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 with SP1 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

Windows Saved Search Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1435

Update Information

Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance

Security Update Deployment

Other Information


  • Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates.
  • International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.


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.


  • V1.0 (July 8, 2008): Bulletin published.