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MS02-013: Java Applet Can Redirect Browser Traffic (Q300845)


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft virtual machine, used with:
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows XP
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
    • the operating system: Microsoft Windows 98



SYMPTOMS

A session hijacking vulnerability exists in the Microsoft virtual machine (Microsoft VM) that could allow a maliciously crafted Java applet to silently reroute all browser traffic to the applet's host without the user's knowledge. After an attacker possesses the rerouted browser traffic, he or she could take any action or any combination of actions that he or she chooses, including:

  • Handle the browser request.
  • Record the session information.
  • Forward the request to the intended destination.
NOTE : This capability could allow a malicious party to record a user's session information and possibly search for user names, passwords, or credit card numbers that are sent in plain (unencrypted) text.

A malicious applet that attempts to exploit this vulnerability would be active until the user quits all instances of Internet Explorer that are open.

This vulnerability can only be exploited if Microsoft Internet Explorer is configured to access Internet resources through a proxy server. Users whose browsers are not configured to use a proxy server are not at risk from this vulnerability.

If an attack that exploits this vulnerability captures any secure HTTP (HTTPS) traffic, the HTTPS traffic cannot be read in plain text because HTTPS is encrypted by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Therefore, user names and passwords that are sent by using HTTPS are much less vulnerable than information that is sent in plain text by using HTTP.


CAUSE

This vulnerability occurs because of how certain requests for proxy service in Java are handled. When you configure Internet Explorer to use proxy services, a particularly crafted Java program (sometimes called an applet) could exploit this vulnerability to forward browser traffic.


RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, apply Microsoft VM build 3805 or later. The latest Microsoft VM build is available from the following Microsoft Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/java/vm/dl_vm40.htm


STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this problem could result in some degree of security vulnerability in the Microsoft virtual machine.


MORE INFORMATION

To determine the Microsoft VM build number on a computer that is running Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), or Windows Millennium Edition (Me), follow these steps:

  1. On the Windows Start menu, click Run .


  2. In the Open text box, type command , and then click OK .


  3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    jview
    Notice that the version information appears on the first line as "Version n.nn.nnnn ", where nnnn is the build number. For example, 5.00.3802 is Microsoft VM build 3802.


To determine the Microsoft VM build number on a computer that is running Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. On the Windows Start menu, click Run .


  2. In the Open text box, type cmd , and then click OK .


  3. At the command prompt, type the following command, and then press ENTER:
    jview
    Notice that the version information appears on the first line as "Version n.nn.nnnn ", where nnnn is the build number. For example, 5.00.3802 is Microsoft VM build 3802.



REFERENCES

For more information about this vulnerability, refer to the following Microsoft Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms02-013.asp
For additional information about the Microsoft virtual machine, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q169803 INFO: Historical List of Shipping Vehicles for Microsoft VM
For the latest Microsoft Knowledge Base articles and other support information on Visual J++ and the SDK for Java, please see the following pages on the Microsoft Technical Support Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/support/visualj/

http://support.microsoft.com/support/java/


Published Mar 4 2002 10:50AM Issue Type kbprb
Last Modifed Mar 4 2002 10:49AM Additional Query Words security_patch
Keywords kbJava kbJavaVM kbSecurity kbGrpDSJava kbDSupport kbJavaVMFAQ kbJavaVMbug kbJavaVM33xx kbJavaVM33xxbug kbJavaVM32xx kbJavaVM32xxbug kbJavaVM31xx kbJavaVM31xxbug kbJavaVM38xx kbJavaVM38xxbug

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