SILLY BEHAVIOR Part II : Internet Explorer 5.5 - 6.0 May 01 2003 04:02PM
http-equiv (at) excite (dot) com [email concealed] (1 malware com)

Thursday, May 1, 2003

The following represents a trivial yet elaborate method of injecting
arbitrary html into the "My Computer" zone on win98 using the
Internet Explorer series of browsers.

The manufacturer, commonly known as "Microsoft" has a done a splendid
job of battening down the hatches with many of the "quirky" behaviors
associated with her best known product; Internet Explorer.


1. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-014 Cumulative Patch for Outlook
Express (330994) see: http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/5473/

2. Microsoft Internet Explorer Self Executing HTML File Vulnerability
see: http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/6961

this one is particularly fascinating as an 'unannounced' patch was
crammed into Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-008 - Flaw in Windows
Script Engine Could Allow Code Execution (814078) of March 19, 2003
for 2. above in a relatively quick fashion: Feb 25, 2003 to March 19,
2003 whereby now the extracted executable is placed in the Temporary
Internet File [TIF] and controlled by the browser security setting.


Internet Explorer enjoys a unique component called the 'Web Folder"
component. This is a selectable component install with the original
installation of the browser or can be added later on. This unique
component allows for an assortment of web publishing and authoring
conveniences often touted as useful "feature".

But what it actually does, is create a nicely named file for us in a
known location.


The Internet Explorer series 5 through 6 enjoy a related behavior to
the so-called "Web Folder" component which allows us to point
directly to one of these web folders and traverse it directly.
However, should the folder not exist, an error message is generated
and conveniently placed for us in the temp folder:


This particular error message is nothing more than a server side 404
error message which can be modified to suit our needs as we require.


1. We first construct our trivial behavior to generate the error
message like so:

<body onload=malware() style="behavior: url(#default#httpFolder);">
function malware(){document.body.navigate

What this will do is "probe" the target site for a webfolder, and if
not found, create our error file in the temp folder as follows:

[screen shot: http://www.malware.com/behave.png 4KB]

2. We then take our multi-faceted Windows Media Player and construct
a 0s url flip *.asf file and point that to our named file in our
known location:

<iframe src="temp.asf">

URL: mhtml:file://C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\wecerr.txt

Because the error file is nothing more than a text file, we need to
include our own html and allow Internet Explorer to 'read' it.
Previously numerous possibilities to allow for this existed,
including <object data="" type="text/html>, databinding with
dataformatas="HTML", dotting file extensions etc. These now all
appear to be patched.


But because we can craft our own error message on the server and
point our trivial behavior to it, we simply construct our error
message like so:


MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML xmlns:v = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml">
<STYLE>v\:* {BEHAVIOR: url(#default#VML)}</STYLE>
<body bgcolor=blue onload=malware() style="behavior: url
<center><font size="24" color="red"

style="LEFT: 50px; WIDTH: 300px; POSITION: relative; TOP: 30px;
HEIGHT: 200px"
src =

function malware(){


What that will do is generate our simple text file in our temp
folder, and by merely mhtml'izing our 0s url flip in our Media Player
like so: mhtml:file://C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\wecerr.txt, Internet Explorer
will open our text file in full html splendor.

Where it gets particularly interesting is as follows:

1. We place both our silly behavior and our iframe with 0s url flip
on the same page
2. You navigate to that, automatically our silly behavior generates
our custom crafted error file and places it in our known location.
Simultaneously, our Media Player automatically opens our 0s url flip
*.asf and points to that same file.
3. Because the Media Player is launched from the local machine [the
physical player], it is able to navigate locally to the file vs.
security measures currently in place to disallow referencing files
from the internet directly to the local machine.
4. What then happens is our *.txt file is conveniently html'ized, but
again, because of security measures, the html contents are actually
extracted and opened from within the TIF as a *.TMP file -- this in
accordance with Outlook Express recently cumulated security patches.
In this case, while it would appear that we are inside the local
machine and outside the security restrictions, we are in fact unable
to do anything at all.
5. In order to defeat that we include a second file and scheme to
then bypass that restriction. Our handy VML frame:

style="LEFT: 50px; WIDTH: 300px; POSITION: relative; TOP: 30px;
HEIGHT: 200px"
src =

Because there is no restriction on referencing a local file remotely
[from the TIF as an extracted MIME file] with this method, we create
a second wecerr.txt with a different custom crafted content:

<xml xmlns:v = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml">

<v:rect id="malware" fillcolor="red"
onmouseover="javascript:alert(document.location);var wsh=new


6. This is automatically generated once our first mhtml'ized
wecerr.txt is opened and it automatically overwrites the first,
allowing our VML frame to be rendered.

7. Now even with the MHTML file extracted and controlled by the TIF
security settings, it is pointing back to the local machine and temp
folder, and because it was originally extracted locally [from the TIF
as an extracted MIME file], we are once again operating outside the
security zone, in the "My Computer" zone and back to square one.

[screen shot: http://www.malware.com/aces.png 11KB]


1. None.

End Call


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