Vulnerability Note VU#411516

Microsoft Windows kernel fails to properly manage exception handling

Original Release date: 08 Aug 2006 | Last revised: 18 Sep 2006


An exception handling vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows kernel may allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.


Microsoft Windows kernel contains an exception handling vulnerability that can allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with privileges of the local user. Exploitation of this vulnerability can occur if an attacker convinces a user to visit a specially crafted web site.

Microsoft's bulletin states that the following Windows operating systems are affected by this vulnerability:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems and Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition


A remote attacker who can successfully convince a user visit a specially crafted web site may be able to execute arbitrary code with privileges of the local user.


Apply an update
Microsoft has released updates in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-051 to address this issue.


Microsoft lists the following workarounds* for this vulnerability:

    Disable active scripting in the My Computer zone.
    Please see the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-051 for further details and cautions regarding use of the Registry Editor.
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedt32, and then click OK.
    2. In Registry Editor, locate the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0
    3. Double click the DWORD Value: 1400.
    4. The Edit DWORD value dialogue appears. The default value is 0. Change this value to value to 3.
    5. Close and restart Internet Explorer.

    Read e-mail messages in plain text format.
    E-mail messages viewed in plain text will not contain pictures, special fonts, or other rich content.
* Note that these workarounds do NOT fix the underlying vulnerability but will help block known methods of attack.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Microsoft CorporationAffected-08 Aug 2006
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 Microsoft Security for reporting this vulnerability in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-051. Microsoft, in turn, thanks Matt Miller of Leviathan Security Group for reporting the vulnerability to them.

This document was written by Katie Washok.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2006-3648
  • Date Public: 08 Aug 2006
  • Date First Published: 08 Aug 2006
  • Date Last Updated: 18 Sep 2006
  • Severity Metric: 7.90
  • Document Revision: 14


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