Operating System:

Published:

08 November 2001

Protect yourself against future threats.

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===========================================================================
             AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

           ESB-2001.478 -- Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-055
   Cookie Data in IE Can Be Exposed or Altered Through Script Injection
                              9 November 2001

===========================================================================

        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary
        ---------------------------------

Product:                Internet Explorer 5.5
                        Internet Explorer 6.0
Vendor:                 Microsoft
Operating System:       Windows
Impact:                 Access Privileged Data
                        Access Confidential Data
                        Modify Arbitrary Files
Access Required:        Remote

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Title:      Cookie Data in IE Can Be Exposed or Altered
            Through Script Injection
Date:       08 November 2001
Software:   Internet Explorer
Impact:     Exposure and altering of data in cookies
Max Risk:   High
Bulletin:   MS01-055

Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-055.asp.
- - ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Issue:
======
Web sites use cookies as a way to store information on a user's
local system. Most often, this information is used for customizing
and retaining a site's setting for a user across multiple sessions.
By design each site should maintain its own cookies on a user's
machine and be able to access only those cookies. 

A vulnerability exists because it is possible to craft a URL that
can allow sites to gain unauthorized access to user's cookies and
potentially modify the values contained in them. Because some web
sites store sensitive information in a user's cookies, it is also
possible that personal information could be exposed. 

Microsoft is preparing a patch for this issue, but in the meantime
customers can protect their systems by disabling active
scripting. (The FAQ provides step-by-step instructions for doing
this). This will protect against both the web-hosted and the
mail-borne variants discussed above. When the patch is complete,
Microsoft will re-release this bulletin and provide details on
obtaining and using it. 

Mitigating Factors:
====================
 - A user must first be enticed to a malicious web site or to
   open an HTML e-mail containing the malformed URL.
 
 - Users who have applied the Outlook Email Security Update
   are not affected by the HTML mail exploit of this
   vulnerability. 

 - Users who have set Outlook Express to use the "Restricted
   Sites" Zone are not affected by the HTML mail exploit of this
   vulnerability because the "Restricted Sites" zone sets Active
   Scripting to disabled. Note that this is the default setting
   for Outlook Express 6.0. Users of Outlook Express 6.0 should
   verify that Active Scripting is still disabled in the Restricted
   Sites Zone. 

Risk Rating:
============
 - Internet systems: High
 - Intranet systems: High
 - Client systems: High

Patch Availability:
===================
 - A patch is currently under development.  A work-around is
   available to mitigate this vulnerability. Please read the 
   Security Bulletin at
   http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-055.asp
   for information on obtaining this patch.

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THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE MICROSOFT KNOWLEDGE BASE IS 
PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT DISCLAIMS
ALL WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE 
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE
FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL,
CONSEQUENTIAL, LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF
MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE
POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION
OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES SO
THE FOREGOING LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY.

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