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Microsoft Windows Shell vulnerable to privilege escalation

Vulnerability Note VU#240796

Original Release Date: 2007-02-15 | Last Revised: 2007-02-22


A vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Shell may allow an attacker to gain access with escalated privileges.


The Microsoft Windows Shell Hardware Detection service provides notification for AutoPlay hardware events. This service fails to properly validate a function parameter in the way that hardware is detected and initialized which may allow access with escalated privileges. An attacker with the ability to run a specially crafted application that forces the system to perform a hardware detection and initialization event, may be able to exploit this vulnerability.


A local, authenticated attacker may be able to access the system with escalated privileges. Secondary impacts include: the ability to install programs; view, change or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.


Microsoft has released an update to address this issue. Please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-006 for more details.


Disable the Shell Hardware Detection service

Disabling the Shell Hardware Detection service will help protect the affected system from attempts to exploit this vulnerability. To disable the Shell Hardware Detection service, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. Alternatively, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
2. Double-click Administrative Tools.
3. Double-click Services.
4. Double-click Shell Hardware Detection service.
5. In the Startup type list, click Disabled.
6. Click Stop, and then click OK.

Please note that disabling the Shell Hardware Detection service may limit Fast User switching capabilities.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  February 15, 2007



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


Please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-006 for further information.

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector



This vulnerability was reported in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-006.

This document was written by Katie Steiner.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2007-0211
Severity Metric: 9.14
Date Public: 2007-02-13
Date First Published: 2007-02-15
Date Last Updated: 2007-02-22 19:44 UTC
Document Revision: 15

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