Vulnerability Note VU#437212

Adobe Macromedia Shockwave Player ActiveX installer buffer overflow vulnerability

Original Release date: 28 Feb 2006 | Last revised: 28 Feb 2006


The ActiveX installer for Adobe Macromedia Shockwave contains a buffer overflow, which may allow a remote unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


Shockwave Player

Adobe Macromedia Shockwave Player is software that plays active web content developed in Macromedia Director. Shockwave Player is available as an ActiveX control for Internet Explorer and as a plug-in for other web browsers.

Shockwave Installer

Internet Explorer users can install the Shockwave Player through use of an ActiveX installer. Upon visiting a web site that provides Shockwave content, the user will be prompted to install the Shockwave Player through the ActiveX mechanism. Users of web browsers other than Internet Explorer, which do not support ActiveX, are required to run a stand-alone Shockwave Player installer to view Shockwave content.

The problem

The ActiveX installer for Shockwave contains a buffer overflow vulnerability.


By convincing a user to view a specially crafted HTML document (for example, a web page) and to accept the Shockwave Player ActiveX installer prompt, an attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.


Do not install ActiveX controls from untrusted web sites

Although the Shockwave installer that is currently available from the web site does not contain the vulnerability, an attacker may choose to host the vulnerable version of the ActiveX installer. This ActiveX control may appear as valid and signed by Macromedia, Inc. Do not install ActiveX controls from untrusted web sites.

Disable ActiveX

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

Note that disabling ActiveX controls in the Internet Zone will reduce the functionality of some web sites.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
AdobeAffected-28 Feb 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



This vulnerability was disclosed by Adobe, who in turn credit Zero Day Initiative with reporting the vulnerability.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2005-3525
  • Date Public: 23 Feb 2006
  • Date First Published: 28 Feb 2006
  • Date Last Updated: 28 Feb 2006
  • Severity Metric: 3.88
  • Document Revision: 9


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