eEye Advisory - EEYEB-20050316 - HTML Help File Parsing Buffer Overflow Jun 15 2005 06:27PM
Steve Manzuik (smanzuik eeye com)
EEYEB-20050316 - HTML Help File Parsing Buffer Overflow

Release Date:
June 14, 2005

Date Reported:
March 16, 2005

High (Remote Code Execution)


Systems Affected:
Windows 98 / 98 SE
Windows Me
Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 / Service Pack 4
Windows XP Service Pack 1 / Service Pack 2
Windows XP 64-Bit Itanium SP 1
Windows XP 64-Bit Itanium 2003
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Windows 2003 Server / Service Pack 1
Windows 2003 for Itanium / Service Pack 1
Windows 2003 x64 Edition

eEye Digital Security has discovered a vulnerability in the way various
versions of Windows handle Windows Help (.CHM) files. If exploited,
this vulnerability allows arbitrary code to be executed by the remote
attacker. A malicious .CHM file can be opened by Internet Explorer
without user interaction by using the "ms-its" protocol specification;
for example:


This vulnerability affects any application that uses the Windows Help
component of Internet Explorer internally.

Technical Details:
A CHM file can be specially crafted in order to cause a heap overflow,
leading to one of the following exploitable situations:

(1) 1A40C0DD call dword ptr [ecx+18h] : we can control ECX, EAX points
to our buffer

(2) 717AA58C call dword ptr [ecx+4] : we can control ECX, EAX points
to our buffer

(3) 77F8C7A9 mov dword ptr [ecx],eax : we can control ECX and EAX,
EDI points to our buffer

This heap overflow is caused by an integer overflow in a size field.
Specifying a very high DWORD value (e.g., 0xFFFFFFFD) in this field will
cause a buffer overflow and an excessive memory copy that overwrites all
contiguous heap memory and eventually reaches a page boundary.

Retina Network Security Scanner has been updated to identify this
Blink Endpoint Protection defends against this vulnerability.

Vendor Status:
Microsoft has released a patch for this vulnerability. The patch is
available at:

Discovery: Yuji Ukai

Related Links:

Retina Network Security Scanner - Free 15 Day Trial

Retina Network Security Scanner - Japanese Edition

SSE Retina Team, All attendees of the workshop at Triton Square,

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