Vulnerability Note VU#998779

HP Online Support Services ActiveX StartApp() arbitrary code execution

Original Release date: 06 Jun 2008 | Last revised: 07 Jun 2008


The HP Online Support Services ActiveX control contains a method called StartApp(). This may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute local files on a vulnerable system in the context of the local user.


HP Services provides online product support services including HP Instant Support. The HPISDataManager.dll ActiveX control contains the insecure function StartApp(), which can be exploited by a malicious attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

Note that the HP Support Services ActiveX control is locked to certain domains, such as This means that an attacker would have to subvert the host name lookup methodology on a victim's system or exploit a cross-site scripting vulnerability in one of the allowed domains to exploit this vulnerability.


A remote, unauthenticated attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system in the context of the local user.


HP suggests to install HP Instant Support - v1.0.0.24 or later. For installation instructions, please visit the HP Support Document. However, limited testing has shown that this update does not change the behavior with respect to unsafe methods.

From the HP Support Document:

The vulnerabilities can also be resolved by the following procedure:

Set the kill bit for the vulnerable ActiveX control's Class identifier (CLSID) {14C1B87C-3342-445F-9B5E-365FF330A3AC} . The kill bit is set by modifying the data value of the Compatibility Flags DWORD value for the CLSID of this ActiveX control to 0x00000400. This is explained in Microsoft's article KB240797 or subsequent.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Hewlett-Packard CompanyAffected-06 Jun 2008
Hewlett-Packard CompanyUnknown11 Apr 200811 Apr 2008
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A



Hewlett-Packard credits Dennis Rand of CSIS Security Research and Intelligence for discovering this vulnerability.

This document was written by Joseph Pruszynski and Will Dormann

Other Information


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