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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-075 - Critical

Vulnerabilities in Windows Search Could Allow Remote Code Execution (959349)

Published: | Updated:

Version: 1.1

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves two privately reported vulnerabilities in Windows Search. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens and saves a specially crafted saved-search file within Windows Explorer or if a user clicks a specially crafted search URL. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities 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.

The most severe vulnerability is rated Critical 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 the vulnerabilities by modifying the way that Windows Explorer frees memory when saving Windows Search files and by modifying the way that Windows Explorer interprets parameters when parsing the search-ms protocol. For more information about the vulnerabilities, 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 immediately.

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 1
(KB958623)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantMS08-038
Windows Vista and Windows Vista Service Pack 1
(KB958624)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1
(KB958623)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantMS08-038
Windows Vista x64 Edition and Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 1
(KB958624)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*
(KB958623)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantMS08-038
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems*
(KB958624)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*
(KB958623)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantMS08-038
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems*
(KB958624)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems
(KB958623)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantMS08-038
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems
(KB958624)
Remote Code ExecutionCriticalNone

*Windows Server 2008 server core installation not affected. The vulnerabilities addressed by these updates do not affect supported editions of Windows Server 2008 if Windows Server 2008 was installed using the Server Core installation option, even though the files affected by these vulnerabilities may be present on the system. However, users with the affected files will still be offered this update because the update files are newer (with higher version numbers) than the files that are currently on your system. 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
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-2008-4268

Windows Search Parsing Vulnerability - CVE-2008-4269

Update Information

Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance

Security Update Deployment

Other Information

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:

  • Andre Protas of eEye Digital Security for reporting the Windows Saved Search Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4268)
  • Nate McFeters for reporting the Windows Search Parsing Vulnerability (CVE-2008-4269)

Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)

To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections Web sites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Support

  • 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.

Disclaimer

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.

Revisions

  • V1.0 (December 9, 2008): Bulletin published.
  • V1.1 (December 10, 2008): Corrected registry key in Workarounds for Windows Search Parsing Vulnerability - CVE-2008-4269 section.