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Microsoft Windows processing of zip files contains a buffer overflow

Vulnerability Note VU#649374

Original Release Date: 2004-10-13 | Last Revised: 2004-10-14


A buffer overflow exists in the way Microsoft Windows processes zip files that may allow remote code execution.


Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 feature the ability to natively handle zip files. Microsoft has released bulletin MS04-034 describing a remotely exploitable buffer overflow vulnerability in the way Windows handles zip files. According to MS04-034:

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Compressed (zipped) Folders because of an unchecked buffer in the way that it handles specially crafted compressed files. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a malicious compressed file that could potentially allow remote code execution if a user visited a malicious Web site. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. However, user interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability.

For further technical information about this vulnerability, please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-034.


If a remote attacker can persuade a user to access a specially crafted zip file, the attacker may be able to execute arbitrary code on that user's system, possibly with administrator privileges.


Apply Patch

Apply a patch as described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-034. Please also note that Microsoft is actively deploying the patches for this vulnerability via Windows Update.

Do Not Accept Zip Files from Untrusted Sources

Exploitation occurs by accessing a specially crafted zip file (.zip extension). By only accessing zip files from trusted or known sources, the chances of exploitation are reduced.

For more details regarding remediation of this issue please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-034.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  October 13, 2004



Vendor Statement

We have not received a statement from the vendor.

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 MS04-034.

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

CVSS Metrics

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Microsoft has published Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-034 to address this vulnerability. Microsoft credits eEye Digital Security for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Jeff Gennari.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2004-0575
Severity Metric: 27.11
Date Public: 2004-10-12
Date First Published: 2004-10-13
Date Last Updated: 2004-10-14 15:10 UTC
Document Revision: 101

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