Vulnerability Note VU#340420

IBM Access Support ActiveX control stack buffer overflow

Original Release date: 24 Mar 2009 | Last revised: 25 Mar 2009


The IBM Access Support ActiveX control contains a stack buffer overflow, which may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


The IBM Access Support ActiveX control has the ability to collect system information, such as make, model, serial number, OS version, etc. This control is available on the IBM / Lenovo web site, and also may come pre-installed on IBM and Lenovo computer systems. The IBM Access Support ActiveX control, which is provided by IbmEgath.dll, contains a stack buffer overflow in the GetXMLValue() method. We have confirmed that version is vulnerable. Other versions may also contain the flaw.


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. The attacker could also cause Internet Explorer (or the program using the WebBrowser control) to crash.


We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem. Please consider the following workarounds:

Disable the IBM Access Support 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\{74FFE28D-2378-11D5-990C-006094235084}]
    "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
IBM CorporationAffected22 Aug 200805 Feb 2009
LenovoAffected22 Aug 200805 Feb 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



Thanks to Chris Weber of Casaba Security for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2009-0215
  • Date Public: 24 Mar 2009
  • Date First Published: 24 Mar 2009
  • Date Last Updated: 25 Mar 2009
  • Severity Metric: 3.36
  • Document Revision: 15


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