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Microsoft Internet Explorer does not properly handle cached HTTPS contents

Vulnerability Note VU#795720

Original Release Date: 2004-10-19 | Last Revised: 2004-10-21


Microsoft Internet Explorer fails to properly validate cached HTTPS contents, allowing an attacker to obtain information or spoof information on a secure web site.


The HTTPS protocol is used to provide authentication, encryption, integrity, and non-repudiation services to web applications. Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) does not properly validate cached HTTPS content. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by creating a web site with the same host name as the legitimate HTTPS protected web site. When the attacker's web site is viewed, the contents are cached. If the attacker redirects the victim's browser to the legitimate web site, the attacker's cached contents are then displayed within the context of that web site. The cached content could include script code, images, or other locally cached items.


An attacker may be able to spoof information on a secure web site. Using script, an attacker may be able to retrieve cookies or other information from a secure web session.


Apply a patch

Apply the patch referenced in MS04-038.

Do not save encrypted pages to disk

To prevent this vulnerability from being exploited, change the IE settings to not save encrypted contents to disk. To make this change, follow these steps (provided by MS04-038):

    1. In Internet Explorer, click Internet Options on the Tools menu.
    2. Click the Advanced tab.
    3. Under Settings, scroll to Security.
    4. Under Settings, in the Security section, click Do not save encrypted pages to disk.
    5. Click OK two times to return to Internet Explorer.

    Vendor Information


    Microsoft Corporation Affected

    Updated:  October 15, 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.


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    Thanks to Microsoft for reporting this vulnerability. Microsoft credits Mitja Kolsek from ACROS Security for reporting the vulnerability.

    This document was written by Will Dormann.

    Other Information

    CVE IDs: CVE-2004-0845
    Severity Metric: 9.72
    Date Public: 2004-10-12
    Date First Published: 2004-10-19
    Date Last Updated: 2004-10-21 14:58 UTC
    Document Revision: 8

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