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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS00-017 - Important

Patch Available for "DOS Device in Path Name" Vulnerability

Published: March 16, 2000

Version: 1.0

Originally Posted: March 16, 2000

Summary

Microsoft has released a patch that eliminates a security vulnerability in Microsoft® Windows® 95, Windows 98, and Windows 98 Second Edition. The vulnerability could cause a user's system to crash, if they attempted to access a file or folder whose path contained certain reserved words.

Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/fq00-017.mspx.

General Information

DOS device names are reserved words, and cannot be used as folder or file names. When parsing a reference to a file or folder, Windows correctly checks for the case in which a single DOS device name is used in the path, and treats it as invalid. However, it does not check for the case in which the path includes multiple DOS device names. When Windows attempts to interpret the device name as a file resource, it performs an illegal resource access that usually results in a crash.

Because it is not possible to create files or folders that contain DOS device names, it would be unusual for a user to try to access one under normal circumstances. The chief threat posed by this vulnerability is that a malicious user could attempt to entice a user to attempt such an access. For instance, if a web site operator hosted a hyperlink that referenced such a path, clicking the link would result in the user's machine crashing. Likewise, a web page or HTML mail that specified a local file as the source of rendering information could cause the user's machine to crash when it was displayed. If this happened, the machine could be put back into normal service by restarting it.

Affected Software Versions

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

Vulnerability Identifier: CVE-2000-0168

More Information

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

Obtaining Support on this Issue

This is a fully supported patch. Information on contacting Microsoft Technical Support is available at http://support.microsoft.com/contactussupport/?ws=support

Revisions

March 16, 2000: Bulletin Created.

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