Microsoft Internet Explorer (mshtml.dll) - Remote Code Execution Mar 22 2006 04:19PM
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Computer Terrorism (UK) :: Incident Response Centre

Security Advisory :: CT22-03-2006

Title: Microsoft Internet Explorer (mshtml.dll) - Remote Code Execution

Organisation: Computer Terrorism (UK)
Web: www.computerterrorism.com
Advisory Date: 22nd March, 2006

Affected Software: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.x, IE7 Beta 2
Severity: Critical
Impact: Remote System Access
Solution Status: ** UNPATCHED **


Pursuant to the publication of the aforementioned bug/vulnerability, this document serves as a preliminary Security Advisory for users of Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 and 7 Beta 2.

Successful exploitation will allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code against a fully patched Windows XP system, yielding system access with privileges of the underlying user.

Technical Narrative:

As per the publication, the bug originates from the use of a createTextRange() method, which, under certain circumstances, can lead to an invalid/corrupt table pointer dereference.

As a result, IE encounters an exception when trying to call a deferenced 32bit address, as highlighted by the following sniplet of code.


Due to the incorrect reference, ECX points to a very remote, non-existent memory location, causing IE to crash (DoS). However, although the location is some what distant, history dictates that a condition of this nature is conducive towards reliable exploitation.

Proof of Concept:

Computer Terrorism (UK) can confirm the production of reliable proof of concept (PoC) for this vulnerability (tested on Windows XP SP2). However, until a patch is developed, we will NOT be publicly disclosing our research.

Temporary Solution:

Users are advised to disable active scripting for non-trusted sites until a patch is released.

Vendor Status:

The Vendor has been informed of all aspects of this new vulnerability (including PoC), but as of the date of the document, this vulnerability is UNPATCHED.

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