Microsoft Security Advisory (2719662)

Vulnerabilities in Gadgets Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Published: | Updated:

Version: 1.1

General Information

Executive Summary

Microsoft is announcing the availability of an automated Microsoft Fix it solution that disables Windows Sidebar and Gadgets on supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. Disabling Windows Sidebar and Gadgets can help protect customers from potential attacks that leverage Gadgets to execute arbitrary code.

Customers should consider the following ways that an attacker could leverage Gadgets to execute arbitrary code:

  • Microsoft is aware that some legitimate Gadgets running in Windows Sidebar could contain vulnerabilities. An attacker who successfully exploited a Gadget vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system.
  • An attacker could create a malicious Gadget and then trick a user into installing the malicious Gadget. Once installed, the malicious Gadget could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system.

In addition, Gadgets can access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time. Gadgets could also potentially harm your computer.

Applying the automated Microsoft Fix it solution described in Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2719662 disables the Windows Sidebar experience and all Gadget functionality.

Recommendation. Customers who are concerned about vulnerable or malicious Gadgets should apply the automated Microsoft Fix it solution as soon as possible. For more information, see the Suggested Actions section of this advisory.

Advisory Details

Issue References

For more information about this issue, see the following references:

ReferencesIdentification
Microsoft Knowledge Base Article2719662 

Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software.

Affected Software
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1

 

Non-Affected Software
Windows XP Service Pack 3
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1

Frequently Asked Questions

Suggested Actions

Other Information

Acknowledgements

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

  • Mickey Shkatov and Toby Kohlenberg for working with us on Gadget vulnerabilities.

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 websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Feedback

Support

  • Customers in the United States and Canada can receive technical support from Security Support. For more information about available support options, see Microsoft Help and Support.
  • International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for international support issues, visit International Support.
  • Microsoft TechNet Security provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this advisory 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 (July 10, 2012): Advisory published.
  • V1.1 (July 3, 2013): Clarified that disabling Windows Sidebar and Gadgets can help protect customers from potential attacks that leverage Gadgets to execute arbitrary code. This is an informational change only.