Vulnerability Note VU#194505

Symantec AppStream LaunchObj ActiveX control vulnerable to arbitrary code download and execution

Original Release date: 15 Jan 2009 | Last revised: 15 Jan 2009


The Symantec AppStream LaunchObj ActiveX control contains methods that can be used to download and execute arbitrary code.


Symantec AppStream is an application deployment framework for Microsoft Windows. One of the components of the AppStream Windows Client is an ActiveX control that is provided by launcher.dll. This ActiveX control is marked Safe for Scripting in Internet Explorer and contains a number of unsafe methods, such as installAppMgr(), which can be used to download and execute arbitrary code.


By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (e.g., a web page or an HTML email message or attachment), an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.


Apply an update

This issue is resolved in the Symantec AppStream Client 5.2.2 SP3 MP1. This version of the client software provides version of the LaunchObj ActiveX control, which performs additional validation of downloaded files. Please see Symantec Advisory SYM09-001 for more details.

Disable the LaunchObj ActiveX control in Internet Explorer

The vulnerable ActiveX control can be disabled in Internet Explorer by setting the kill bit for the following CLSID:

More information about how to set the kill bit is available in Microsoft Support Document 240797. Alternatively, the following text can be saved as a .REG file and imported to set the kill bit for this control:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX Compatibility\{3356DB7C-58A7-11D4-AA5C-006097314BF8}]
    "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400
Disable ActiveX

Disabling ActiveX controls in the Internet Zone (or any zone used by an attacker) appears to prevent exploitation of this and other ActiveX vulnerabilities. Instructions for disabling ActiveX in the Internet Zone can be found in the "Securing Your Web Browser" document. 

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Symantec, Inc.Affected17 Oct 200815 Jan 2009
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



This vulnerability was reported by Will Dormann of the CERT/CC.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2008-4388
  • Date Public: 15 Jan 2009
  • Date First Published: 15 Jan 2009
  • Date Last Updated: 15 Jan 2009
  • Severity Metric: 5.68
  • Document Revision: 8


If you have feedback, comments, or additional information about this vulnerability, please send us email.