Microsoft Outlook Express Persistent Mail-Browser Link Vulnerability

From the Microsoft Advisory (MS00-045): By design, HTML mail can contain script, and among the actions such a script can take is to open a browser window that links back to the Outlook Express windows. Also by design, script in the browser window could read the HTML mail that is displayed in Outlook Express. However, a vulnerability results because the link could be made persistent. This could allow the browser window to retrieve the text of mails subsequently displayed in the preview pane, and relay it to the malicious user. There are several significant restrictions on this vulnerability: 1) Only the recipient could open the HTML mail that established the link. 2) The attack would only persist until the user either closed the browser window that the HTML mail opened, or closed Outlook Express. 3) The malicious user could only read mails that were displayed in the preview pane. If the preview pane features were disabled, he could not read mails under any conditions.


 

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