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Vulnerability Note VU#887861

Microsoft Internet Explorer vulnerable to code execution via mismatched DOM objects


Microsoft Internet Explorer fails to properly handle requests to mismatched DOM objects, which may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

I. Description

Microsoft Internet Explorer does not properly handle requests to mismatched DOM objects, such as the window() object. When an HTML document references a DOM object in a specially crafted manner, Internet Explorer can crash in a way that allows an attacker to execute arbitrary shell code.

Note: Proof of concept code is publicly available. This vulnerability is being actively exploited to spread malicious software such as Win32/Delf.DH and Troj/Clunky-B.

II. Impact

By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (e.g., a web page, an HTML email message, or an HTML email attachment), an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. The attacker could also cause IE (or the program using the WebBrowser control) to crash.

III. Solution

Apply an update

Apply the appropriate update, as specified in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-054.
Disable Active scripting

Disabling Active scripting in the Internet Zone (or any zone used by an attacker) appears to prevent exploitation of this vulnerability. Instructions for disabling Active scripting in the Internet Zone can be found in the Malicious Web Scripts FAQ. Microsoft has provided this and other workarounds in Microsoft Security Advisory 911302 and Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-054.

Note that disabling Active scripting in the Internet Zone will reduce the functionality of some web sites.

Do not follow unsolicited links

In order to convince users to visit their sites, attackers often use URL encoding, IP address variations, long URLs, intentional misspellings, and other techniques to create misleading links. Do not click on unsolicited links received in email, instant messages, web forums, or internet relay chat (IRC) channels. Type URLs directly into the browser to avoid these misleading links. While these are generally good security practices, following these behaviors will not prevent exploitation of this vulnerability in all cases, particularly if a trusted site has been compromised or allows cross-site scripting.

Systems Affected

VendorStatusDate Updated
Microsoft CorporationVulnerable13-Dec-2005



This vulnerability was publicly reported by Benjamin Tobias Franz.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

Date Public05/28/2005
Date First Published11/21/2005 08:03:29 PM
Date Last Updated12/13/2005
CERT Advisory 
CVE NameCVE-2005-1790
Document Revision18

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Produced 2005 by US-CERT, a government organization
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