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Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac insecurely handles temporary file

Vulnerability Note VU#987118

Original Release Date: 2004-02-24 | Last Revised: 2004-03-04


A component program of Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac uses an insecure method for handling a temporary file. This could allow an attacker with local system access to gain elevated privileges.


Microsoft Virtual PC for Mac is a product that allows users of the Apple MacOS X operating system to simulate a PC computer in software. A component program (VirtualPC_Services) fails to check for dangerous conditions prior to creation of a specific temporary file (/tmp/VPCServices_Log) during its normal operation. As a result, an attacker could create a symbolic link that would cause the contents of another file to be overwritten or a new file to be created. Since the VirtualPC_Services component that exposes the vulnerability runs with increased privileges, the attacker's file would be written with system privileges.


An attacker with local access may be able to overwrite or create any file on the system. Depending on which file was created or overwritten, this could allow the attacker to gain elevated privileges or a cause a denial-of-service condition on the system.


Apply a patch from the vendor

Apply the patch (835150) referenced in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-005.

Vendor Information


Microsoft Corporation Affected

Updated:  February 24, 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.


Please refer to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-005.

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

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This vulnerability was reported by George Gal of @stake.

This document was written by Damon Morda and Chad Dougherty based on information provided by @stake.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2004-0115
Severity Metric: 3.68
Date Public: 2004-02-10
Date First Published: 2004-02-24
Date Last Updated: 2004-03-04 16:46 UTC
Document Revision: 24

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