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Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) contains cross-site scripting vulnerability in HTTP error page results

Vulnerability Note VU#886699

Original Release Date: 2002-04-10 | Last Revised: 2004-02-23

Overview

Visitors to web sites that use Microsoft IIS and also use the default error pages are vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks.

Description

Cross-site scripting is a form of attack in which an intruder leverages the trust between a victim and a web-site the victim trusts. Quoting from CERT Advisory CA-2001-02:

Many Internet web sites overlook the possibility that a client may send malicious data intended to be used only by itself. This is an easy mistake to make. After all, why would a user enter malicious code that only the user will see?

However, this situation may occur when the client relies on an untrustworthy source of information when submitting a request. For example, an attacker may construct a malicious link such as

<A HREF="
http://example.com/comment.cgi? mycomment=<SCRIPT>malicious code</SCRIPT>"> Click here</A>

When an unsuspecting user clicks on this link, the URL sent to example.com includes the malicious code. If the web server sends a page back to the user including the value of mycomment, the malicious code may be executed unexpectedly on the client.
This example also applies to untrusted links followed in email or newsgroup messages.

Abuse of other tags

In addition to scripting tags, other HTML tags such as the <FORM> tag have the potential to be abused by an attacker. For example, by embedding malicious <FORM> tags at the right place, an intruder can trick users into revealing sensitive information by modifying the behavior of an existing form. Other HTML tags can also be abused to alter the appearance of the page, insert unwanted or offensive images or sounds, or otherwise interfere with the intended appearance and behavior of the page.


In this case, when a request to IIS results in one of several errors , the default response includes unsanitized derived from the URL in the resulting error message. If an intruder convinces a victim to follow a link with malicious content in it, he can cause the web server to return a page largely under the control of the intruder. If the victim trusts the web site (specifically if Javascript or other script from that site is permitted to run) the intruder can execute arbitrary script as if it came from the web site.

For more information, see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-018.

IIS is a very popular web server, and any client that has a trust relationship with an IIS web site may be vulnerable if that site default error messages.

Impact

For a description of the potential impact, see http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2000-02.html#impact.

Solution

For a description of the range of solutions to this problem, see http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-2000-02.html#solution. In this instance, web site managers should apply a patch as described in MS02-018.

Vendor Information

886699
 
Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

Microsoft Corporation

Updated:  April 10, 2002

Status

  Vulnerable

Vendor Statement

See http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms02-018.asp

Vendor Information

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

Addendum

This vulnerability applies to visitors to sites that use IIS. Specifically, it is an attack against web browsers, not web servers.

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

References

Acknowledgements

Our thanks to Microsoft Corporation, who described this instance of cross-site scripting problems in MS02-018.

This document was written by Shawn V. Hernan.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2002-0148
Severity Metric: 15.95
Date Public: 2002-04-10
Date First Published: 2002-04-10
Date Last Updated: 2004-02-23 22:44 UTC
Document Revision: 5

Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.