Vulnerability Note VU#578798

Apple Mac OS X help system may interpret inappropriate local script files

Original Release date: 21 May 2004 | Last revised: 24 May 2004


A vulnerability has been reported in the default URI protocol handler in Apple's Mac OS X help system. Exploitation of this vulnerability may permit a remote attacker to execute arbitrary scripts on the local system.


A vulnerability has been reported in Apple's Mac OS X runscript function of the application. Using the "help://" URI handler, a remote attacker may be able to create an HTML file that will execute local scripts on the target user's system. If exploited conjunction with VU#210606, a remote attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code of the attacker's choosing. Browsers or other applications supporting this help system URI handler enabled by default on Mac OS X have been reported to be vulnerable.


A remote attacker may be able to run arbitrary files with interpretable script on a vulnerable system.


Download updated software per Apple's Security Update notice:

According to a posting on Secunia, users may be able to mitigate the potential impact of this reported vulnerability by changing the protocol helpers (applications) for URI handlers which are not required, (e.g., disable "help://" execution).

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Apple Computer Inc.Affected21 May 200424 May 2004
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 Kang for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jason A Rafail and is based on information from and

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2004-0486
  • Date Public: 17 May 2004
  • Date First Published: 21 May 2004
  • Date Last Updated: 24 May 2004
  • Severity Metric: 19.89
  • Document Revision: 9


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