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Microsoft Color Management Module buffer overflow during profile tag validation

Vulnerability Note VU#720742

Original Release Date: 2005-07-12 | Last Revised: 2005-07-22


Microsoft Color Management Module contains a flaw that may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.


The Microsoft Color Management Module provides consistent color management operations between applications and devices, and transforms between colorspaces such as 'RGB' and 'CMYK'. International Color Consortium (ICC) profiles help perform these tasks. ICC data files, or 'profiles', are available for a wide range of devices. Certain file types, such as PNG and JPEG, may allow a user to embed a color profile format tag within the file data in order to specify the ICC profile associated with the file or device.

An attacker may be able to craft an image file with an embedded ICC profile format tag such that a buffer overflow condition occurs during validation of the tag. This buffer overflow condition may result in the attacker gaining the ability to execute arbitrary code.

Please note that according to public reports, this vulnerability is being actively exploited.


By convincing a user to view an image with a maliciously crafted ICC profile tag, an attacker could execute arbitrary commands or code with the privileges of the user. This may be accomplished by including the specially crafted image in a web page or an HTML email message. The attacker could take any action as the user. If the user has administrative privileges, the attacker could take complete control of the user's system.


Apply an update
Microsoft has addressed this issue in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-036.

In addition, the following workarounds may help to limit the scope and impact of the vulnerability:

Read and send email in plain text format

Outlook 2003, Outlook 2002 SP1, and Outlook 6 SP1 can be configured to view email messages in text format. Consider the security of fellow Internet users and send email in plain text format when possible.

Do not follow unsolicited links

In order to convince users to visit their sites, attackers often use URL encoding, IP address variations, long URLs, intentional misspellings, and other techniques to create misleading links. Do not click on unsolicited links received in email, instant messages, web forums, or internet relay chat (IRC) channels. Type URLs directly into the browser to avoid these misleading links. While these are generally good security practices, following these behaviors will not prevent exploitation of this vulnerability in all cases, particularly if a trusted site has been compromised or allows cross-site scripting.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  July 12, 2005



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.


Please see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-036 for more information on fixes, workarounds, and updates.

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

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Thanks to Microsoft and Shih-hao Weng of Information & Communication Security Technology Center (ICST) for reporting this vulnerability.

This document was written by Ken MacInnis.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2005-1219
Severity Metric: 40.80
Date Public: 2005-07-12
Date First Published: 2005-07-12
Date Last Updated: 2005-07-22 18:51 UTC
Document Revision: 13

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