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TUCoPS :: Windows Net Apps :: ciack005.txt

MS Windows Virtual Machine Verifier




            __________________________________________________________

                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                    Computer Incident Advisory Capability
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_\   /
                          \___  __|__  /   \  \___
             __________________________________________________________

                             INFORMATION BULLETIN

               Microsoft "Virtual Machine Verifier" Vulnerability

October 27, 1999 15:00 GMT                                        Number K-005
______________________________________________________________________________
PROBLEM:       A security vulnerability in the Microsoft(r) Virtual Machine 
               could allow a Java Applet to take unauthorized actions on the 
               computer of a user visiting a malicious website. 
PLATFORM:      Microsoft Windows 95/98 and NT 4.0 Workstation and Server 
DAMAGE:        The web-hosted Java Applet could take unauthorized actions  
               against a user visiting the site. These actions could include 
               creating, deleting, or modifying files, sending or receiving 
               data from a web site, or reformatting a hard drive. 
SOLUTION:      Apply the patch. 
______________________________________________________________________________
VULNERABILITY  The risk is low. A user would have to visit a web site and view 
ASSESSMENT:    a page constructed to exploit this vulnerability. 
______________________________________________________________________________

[Start Microsoft Advisory]

Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS99-045)
--------------------------------------

Patch Available "Virtual Machine Verifier" Vulnerability
Originally Posted: October 21, 1999

Summary
=======
Microsoft has released a new version of the Microsoft(r) virtual machine
(Microsoft VM) that  eliminates a security vulnerability that could allow a
Java applet to take unauthorized actions  on the computer of a web site
visitor. Although no standard Java compiler can generate such an  applet, a
Java applet constructed by hand with a Java bytecode assembler could bypass
the sandbox  and take virtually any action on the computer that the user
would be capable of taking.

Frequently asked questions regarding this vulnerability can be found
at http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/MS99-045faq.asp.

Issue
=====
The Microsoft VM is a virtual machine for the Win32(r) operating
environment. It runs atop  Microsoft Windows(r) 95, 98 or Windows NT(r). It
ships as part of each operating system, and also  as part of Microsoft
Internet Explorer.

The version of the Microsoft VM that ships with Microsoft Internet Explorer
4.0 and Internet  Explorer 5.0 contains a security vulnerability in the
bytecode verifier that could allow a Java  applet to operate outside the
bounds set by the sandbox. If hosted on a web site, it could cause  any
action to be taken on the computer of a visiting user that the user himself
could take. This  could include, for example, creating, deleting or
modifying files, sending data to or receiving  data from a web site, or
reformatting the hard drive.

Affected Software Versions
==========================
Versions of the Microsoft VM are identified by build numbers, which can be
determined using the  JVIEW tool, as discussed in the FAQ. The following
builds of the Microsoft VM are affected:
- All builds in the 2000 series
- All builds in the 3000 series prior to but not including build 3188

NOTE: The Microsoft VM ships as part of several products. However, the
primary ship vehicle is  Internet Explorer. IE 4 ships with builds in the
2000 series; IE 5 ships with builds in the 3000  series.

Patch Availability
==================
- http://www.microsoft.com/java/vm/dl_vm32.htm

NOTE: The above URL installs the latest version of the 3000 series. It can
be installed by  anyone, including customers currently using a 2000 series
build. A new version in the 2000 series  will be available shortly for
customers who are using a 2000 series build and do not wish to  upgrade to
the 3000 series. When this is available, we will modify the bulletin to
provide the  specific URL.

NOTE: A patch also will be available shortly at
http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com. When this  happens, we will modify the
bulletin to provide the specific URL.

More Information
================
Please see the following references for more information related to this
issue.
- Microsoft Security Bulletin MS99-045: Frequently Asked Questions,
   http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/MS99-045faq.asp.
- Microsoft Knowledge Base (KB) article Q244283,
   Bypassing Java Sandbox Results in VM Security Vulnerability,
   http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q244/2/83.asp.
   (Note: It may take 24 hours from the original posting of this bulletin
   for this KB article to be visible.)
- Microsoft Security Advisor web site,
   http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.asp.

Obtaining Support on this Issue
===============================
This is a fully supported patch. Information on contacting Microsoft
Technical Support is available at
http://support.microsoft.com/support/contact/default.asp.

Revisions
=========
- October 21, 1999: Bulletin Created.

------------------------------------------------------------------

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(c) 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

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[End Microsoft Advisory]


______________________________________________________________________________

CIAC wishes to acknowledge the contributions of Microsoft Corporation for the 
information contained in this bulletin.
______________________________________________________________________________


CIAC, the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, is the computer
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