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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS98-013 - Critical

Fix available for Internet Explorer Cross Frame Navigate Vulnerability

Published: September 04, 1998 | Updated: May 16, 2003

Version: 2.0

Originally Posted: September 4, 1998
Updated: May 16, 2003

Summary

Microsoft has released a patch that fixes a recently discovered issue with the implementation of cross frame security in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Customers using affected software listed below should download and apply these patches as soon as possible.

Issue

The Cross Frame Navigate issue involves a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that could allow a malicious hacker to circumvent certain Internet Explorer security safeguards. This vulnerability makes it possible for a malicious Web site operator to read the contents of files on your computer.

While there have not been any reports of customers being adversely affected by these problems, Microsoft is releasing these patches to address the implied risks posed by these issues.

Affected Software Versions

The following software is affected by this vulnerability:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, 4.01 and 4.01 SP1 on Windows NT 4.0, Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98, with integrated Internet Explorer (version 4.01 SP1)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and 4.01 for Windows 3.1 and Windows NT 3.51
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and 4.01 for Macintosh

This vulnerability does not affect Internet Explorer 3.x.

This vulnerability could also affect software that uses HTML functionality provided by Internet Explorer. Anyone using such programs should download the patch even if they do not run Internet Explorer as their default browser.

Vulnerability Identifier: CVE-1999-0871

What Microsoft is Doing

On September 4th Microsoft released a patch that fixes the problem identified. This patch is available for download from the sites listed below.

Microsoft has sent this security bulletin to customers subscribing to the Microsoft Product Security Notification Service. See The Microsoft Product Security Notification Service for more information about this free customer service.

Microsoft has published the following Knowledge Base (KB) articles on this issue:

What customers should do

Microsoft highly recommends that users of affected software versions, listed in the "Affected Software Versions" section above, should download and install the appropriate patch as soon as possible. Complete URLs for each affected software version is given below.

Internet Explorer 4
Customers using versions of Internet Explorer listed in the "Affected Products" section can obtain the patch from the Internet Explorer Security web site, http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/patchavailability.mspx

Windows 98
Windows 98 customers can get the updated patch using the Windows Update. To obtain this patch using Windows Update, launch Windows Update from the Windows Start Menu and click "Product Updates." When prompted, select 'Yes' to allow Windows Update to determine whether this patch and other updates are needed by your computer. If your computer does need this patch, you will find it listed under the "Critical Updates" section of the page.

Additional Details

In addition to the product guidelines above, you can determine if you have an affected version of mshtml.dll by following these instructions.

In Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows NT 4.0

  1. From the Start Menu select Find and choose Files or Folders.
  2. In the Named box, type mshtml.dll.
  3. In the Look in box, click the down arrow and choose local hard drives from the list.
  4. Click Find Now.
  5. If mshtml.dll is not found, your system does not require the patch.
  6. If mshtml.dll is found, right-click the file, select Properties, and then select the Version tab.
  7. If the file version is less than 4.72.3509.0100, your system could be affected and we recommend that you download the patch. If the file version is greater than 4.72.3508.2400, your system does not need the patch.

In Windows 3.1x

  1. From the File Menu in File Manager, select Search.
  2. In the Search For box, type mshtml16.dll.
  3. In the Start From box, type your drive:\windows directory\SYSTEM (for example, C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM).
  4. Click OK.
  5. If mshtml16.dll is not found, your system does not require the patch.
  6. If mshtml16.dll is found, click the file, press Alt-Enter, and then check the Version information.
  7. If the file version is equal to or less than 4.01.2509.0200, your system could be affected and we recommend that you download the patch. If the file version is greater than 4.01.2509.0200, your system does not need the patch.

On a Macintosh

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Apple icon and select About Internet Explorer.
  2. Look at the Internet Explorer version number in the bottom left corner of the dialog box.
  3. If the version is 4.01 (PowerPC) or 4.01 (68k), your system could be affected and we recommend that you download the patch for Internet Explorer 4.01.
  4. If the version is 4.0, your system could be affected and we recommend that you download Internet Explorer 4.01 and return to this page to download the patch.
  5. If the version is 4.01 (310), you already have the patch and do not need to download it again.

More Information

Please see the following references for more information related to this issue.

Acknowledgments

Microsoft wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Georgi Guninski for originally reporting this problem.

Revisions

  • September 4, 1998: Bulletin Created
  • October 4, 1998: Updated to include information about IE 3.x not being affected.
  • V2.0 (May 16, 2003): Introduced versioning and updated patch availability information.

For additional security-related information about Microsoft products, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security

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