mailing list archives
Re: [security] What A Click! [Internet Explorer]
From: yossarian <yossarian () planet nl>
Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 01:31:21 +0100
There is an easy trick to avoid a .HTA related 'thingie' such as this one:
tell your windows to open .HTA files in notepad. It broke the beautifull
PoC I guess, had it in place as long as this particular machine (2 years or
so), it never broke anything before.
Second hint for people protecting lusers: design a nice corporate colors
standard theme and disable the standard theme. Exit this kind of attack
(since there are more ways to cover windows with malicious lookalikes).
----- Original Message -----
From: "mikx" <mikx () mikx de>
To: <full-disclosure () lists grok org uk>
Cc: <bugtraq () securityfocus com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 8:06 PM
Subject: [security] What A Click! [Internet Explorer]
It's now almost 18 months ago that i posted my first security advisory
"What A Drag! -revisited-", seems to be a good time to post "What A
Both bugs had about the same exploit potential, but i assume this one will
have far less impact and media response (which i consider a great thing
for various reasons). Thanks to everybody who researched, worked, chatted,
discussed and got drunk with me in the last months to make this change
happen - you know who you are.
Using custom Microsoft Agent characters it is possible to cover any kind
of windows, including security or download dialogs. This is an expected
feature of the Microsoft Agent control. To quote the product homepage:
"Animations are drawn on top of any underlying application window,
characters are not bounded within their own, separate window"
characters can be created with tools downloadable from that homepage.
Because custom characters are fully scriptable, can have any kind of shape
and are downloaded automaticly, this can be used as a flexible tool to
cover and/or spoof any kind of window and lure the user to execute
arbitrary code by performing one or two clicks (depening on security zone
configuration and Windows version).
The PoC is designed for Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP SP2 in Windows
classic theme. By clicking on the button in the upper left corner you
start the download of a hta file. The download dialog gets covered by a
Microsoft Agent character which fakes a button (basicly a large white
image with a button border in the middle). Move the character by dragging
to see how it uses a "transparent spot" to make room for clicking on the
underlying dialog through the button space. Transparent areas in
characters are really "not there", meaning you can click through them.
When you click that button you execute arbitraty code in the hta file, in
this case you create the folder "c:\booom!". The button in the upper left
corner is only need to get around the "drive by download" protection of
Windows. When this protection is not in place (e.g. on Windows 2000) this
PoC could be reduced to a single click interaction to execute arbitrary
The bug got fixed as part of the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-032
(yeah, last summer).
The patch adds an additional security dialog before loading a custom agent
character. Be aware that in trusted zones that dialog might not raise.
2004-10-04 Vendor informed
2004-10-06 Vendor opened case, could not repro
2004-10-06 Vendor got new testcase
2004-10-12 Vendor confirmed bug
2005-06-14 Vendor relased patch and advisory
2006-01-22 Public disclosure
Internet Explorer on Windows 98, 98 SE, ME, XP, 2000, Server 2003 with
different severity. See Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-032 for details.
Michael Krax <mikx () mikx de>
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