Vulnerability Note VU#630017

InstallShield Update Service Agent ActiveX control memory corruption

Original Release date: 18 Sep 2008 | Last revised: 09 Oct 2008


The InstallShield Update Service ActiveX control contains a memory corruption vulnerability that can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


The InstallShield Update Service contains an ActiveX control called Update Service Agent. This ActiveX control is a component that is included with some InstallShield Windows software installers and is provided by the file isusweb.dll. This ActiveX control contains a memory corruption vulnerability when the ExecuteRemote() method is called using a URL that causes the web server to return a 404 error. Newer versions of the ActiveX control, which may be provided by Macrovision or Acresso, do not appear to be vulnerable.


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. The attacker could also cause Internet Explorer (or the program using the WebBrowser control) to crash.


Apply an update

This issue is addressed in the FLEXnet Connect 6.0 Security Patch, which is available in the Acresso support document Q113020. This update removes the "Safe for Scripting" setting of the vulnerable control, which prevents the control from being scripted by Internet Explorer. Because the vulnerable control may be provided to end-users who do not have the FLEXnet Connect SDK installed, please consider the following workarounds:

Disable the Update Service Agent 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\{E9880553-B8A7-4960-A668-95C68BED571E}]
    "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
InstallShieldAffected-18 Sep 2008
Acresso SoftwareNot Affected17 Sep 200818 Sep 2008
MacrovisionUnknown-18 Sep 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



Thanks to Brian Dowling of Simplicity Communications for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2008-2470
  • Date Public: 18 Sep 2008
  • Date First Published: 18 Sep 2008
  • Date Last Updated: 09 Oct 2008
  • Severity Metric: 2.55
  • Document Revision: 11


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