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Microsoft Windows Shell contains a buffer overflow

Vulnerability Note VU#616200

Original Release Date: 2004-11-23 | Last Revised: 2004-11-23


A remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability exists in the Microsoft Windows Shell.


The Microsoft Windows Shell provides the basic human-computer interface for Windows systems. Microsoft describes the Shell as follows:

The Windows Shell is responsible for providing the basic framework of the Windows user interface experience. It is most familiar to users as the Windows Desktop, but also provides a variety of other functions to help define the user's computing session, including organizing files and folders, and providing the means to start applications.

A buffer overflow exists in the process the Windows Shell uses to launch applications. If an attacker can persuade a user to visit a specially crafted web page the attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user. For more detailed information and for a list of vulnerable software, see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-037.

Please also note that this advisory replaces MS04-024 for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, 2000, XP, and Server 2003.


If a remote attacker can persuade a user to visit a specially crafted web page, the attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code on that user's system, possibly with elevated privileges.


Apply Patch

Apply a patch as described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-037. Please also note that Microsoft is actively deploying the patches for this vulnerability via Windows Update.

Vendor Information

Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

Microsoft Corporation

Updated:  October 15, 2004



Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

The vendor has not provided us with any further information regarding this vulnerability.


For more details regarding remediation of this issue please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-037.

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

CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A



Microsoft has published Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-037 to address this vulnerability. Microsoft credits Yorick Koster of ITsec Security Services providing information regarding this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jeff Gennari.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2004-0214
Severity Metric: 27.11
Date Public: 2004-10-12
Date First Published: 2004-11-23
Date Last Updated: 2004-11-23 20:10 UTC
Document Revision: 60

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