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RE: shell:windows command question
From: "Perrymon, Josh L." <PerrymonJ () bek com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 10:26:26 -0500

It's XP only.  The functionality IS available in 2k but the syntax is


-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Poodle [mailto:andrewp () IRW co uk]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 8:55 AM
To: FULL-DISCLOSURE () lists netsys com
Subject: Re: [Full-disclosure] shell:windows command question

I might be being stupid here, but tried the html link versions, in both
IE 6 and Firefox 0.9 on W2k, and entering the shell command in the "run"
option, and I just get a

"the folder 'shell:[path and app of your choice]' does not exist".


Am I missing something to cause this to execute?


Andrew Poodle
IRW Solutions Group Ltd
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t: +44 (0) 141 842 1142
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-----Original Message-----
From: full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com 
[mailto:full-disclosure-admin () lists netsys com] On Behalf Of 
Andreas Sandblad
Sent: 07 July 2004 20:25
To: Perrymon, Josh L.
Cc: FULL-DISCLOSURE () lists netsys com
Subject: andrewp () irw co uk - Email found in subject - Re: 
[Full-Disclosure] shell:windows command question

This is dangerous. Based on the file extension of the shell 
protocol different applications may be launched. For example: 
shell:.its will launch Internet Explorer and shell:.mp3 will 
launch Winamp.

The trick is to find an application that will overflow when 
given a very long parameter. A quick check showed that a 
buffer overflow occured within MSProgramGroup 
(WINDOWS\System32\grpconv.exe) after around 230 bytes with 
the following URL: shell:[x*221].grp EIP can be controled, 
but exploitation is a bit tricky since parameter is stored as unicode.

Also Winamp contains an BO (no unicode here).

Tested environment:
Windows XP pro + FireFox 0.9.1

/Andreas Sandblad

On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, Perrymon, Josh L. wrote:

center><br><br><img src="nocigar.gif"></center>
<a href="shell:windows\snakeoil.txt">who goes there</a></center> 
equiv.dyndns.org/~http-equiv/b*llsh*t.html" style="display:none">
[customise as you see fit]
The code above has interest to me.
Even in Mozilla the commands below will work.
<a href=shell:windows\\system32\\calc.exe>1</a>
<a href=shell:windows\system32\calc.exe>2</a>
<a href=shell:windows\system32\winver.exe>4</a>
Just save them to an .html file and run it.
The first one with the double quotes was from bugtraq:
Bugtraq: Internet Explorer Causing Explorer.exe - Null Pointer Crash
The links below that will run calc as well as winver.
It seems it calls windows as a virtual dir because c:\winxp 
is what I have.
I have been playing around to see if cmd.exe will work with 
it but without
This is what is in the registry.
Look in the registry key above. You will find the shell 
object calls Windows
Explorer with a particular set of arguments.
%SystemRoot%\Explorer.exe /e,/idlist,%I,%L
So this is tied to explorer.exe. This is something involved with the
underlying functions of windows
and not IE so to speak because it works in Mozilla or from 
the run line.
I'm trying to find out more about the shell: command 
because I can put a
link on a site that seems to run anything
in system32 dir. I'd like to see if you can pass parameters to it.

Anyone give me more info on the shell:windows command?

Joshua Perrymon
Sr. Network Security Consultant
PGP Fingerprint
51B8 01AC E58B 9BFE D57D  8EF6 C0B2 DECF EC20 6021

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