Vulnerability Note VU#570089

Microsoft HeartbeatCtl ActiveX control buffer overflow

Original Release date: 21 Apr 2008 | Last revised: 21 Apr 2008


The Microsoft HeartbeatCtl ActiveX control contains a buffer overflow, which may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


The Microsoft HeartbeatCtl ActiveX control is used to play multiplayer games on the MSN Games website. The HeartbeatCtl ActiveX control contains a buffer overflow in the handling of the "Host" parameter.


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 addressed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-069. This update sets the kill bit for several unsupported versions of the HeartbeatCtl ActiveX control.

Disable the HeartbeatCtl 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\{E5D419D6-A846-4514-9FAD-97E826C84822}]
    "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
Microsoft CorporationAffected29 May 200721 Apr 2008
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-2007-6255
  • Date Public: 11 Dec 2007
  • Date First Published: 21 Apr 2008
  • Date Last Updated: 21 Apr 2008
  • Severity Metric: 3.90
  • Document Revision: 6


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