Vulnerabilities > CVE-2009-0239 - Cross-Site Scripting vulnerability in Microsoft Windows Search 4.0

Attack vector
Attack complexity
Privileges required
Confidentiality impact
Integrity impact
Availability impact


Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Windows Search 4.0 for Microsoft Windows XP SP2 and SP3 and Server 2003 SP2 allows user-assisted remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted file that appears in a preview in a search result, aka "Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability."

Vulnerable Configurations

Part Description Count

Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)

  • Cross Site Scripting through Log Files
    An attacker may leverage a system weakness where logs are susceptible to log injection to insert scripts into the system's logs. If these logs are later viewed by an administrator through a thin administrative interface and the log data is not properly HTML encoded before being written to the page, the attackers' scripts stored in the log will be executed in the administrative interface with potentially serious consequences. This attack pattern is really a combination of two other attack patterns: log injection and stored cross site scripting.
  • Embedding Scripts in Non-Script Elements
    This attack is a form of Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) where malicious scripts are embedded in elements that are not expected to host scripts such as image tags (<img>), comments in XML documents (< !-CDATA->), etc. These tags may not be subject to the same input validation, output validation, and other content filtering and checking routines, so this can create an opportunity for an attacker to tunnel through the application's elements and launch a XSS attack through other elements. As with all remote attacks, it is important to differentiate the ability to launch an attack (such as probing an internal network for unpatched servers) and the ability of the remote attacker to collect and interpret the output of said attack.
  • Embedding Scripts within Scripts
    An attack of this type exploits a programs' vulnerabilities that are brought on by allowing remote hosts to execute scripts. The attacker leverages this capability to execute scripts to execute his/her own script by embedding it within other scripts that the target software is likely to execute. The attacker must have the ability to inject script into script that is likely to be executed. If this is done, then the attacker can potentially launch a variety of probes and attacks against the web server's local environment, in many cases the so-called DMZ, back end resources the web server can communicate with, and other hosts. With the proliferation of intermediaries, such as Web App Firewalls, network devices, and even printers having JVMs and Web servers, there are many locales where an attacker can inject malicious scripts. Since this attack pattern defines scripts within scripts, there are likely privileges to execute said attack on the host. Of course, these attacks are not solely limited to the server side, client side scripts like Ajax and client side JavaScript can contain malicious scripts as well. In general all that is required is for there to be sufficient privileges to execute a script, but not protected against writing.
  • Cross-Site Scripting in Error Pages
    An attacker distributes a link (or possibly some other query structure) with a request to a third party web server that is malformed and also contains a block of exploit code in order to have the exploit become live code in the resulting error page. When the third party web server receives the crafted request and notes the error it then creates an error message that echoes the malformed message, including the exploit. Doing this converts the exploit portion of the message into to valid language elements that are executed by the viewing browser. When a victim executes the query provided by the attacker the infected error message error message is returned including the exploit code which then runs in the victim's browser. XSS can result in execution of code as well as data leakage (e.g. session cookies can be sent to the attacker). This type of attack is especially dangerous since the exploit appears to come from the third party web server, who the victim may trust and hence be more vulnerable to deception.
  • Cross-Site Scripting Using Alternate Syntax
    The attacker uses alternate forms of keywords or commands that result in the same action as the primary form but which may not be caught by filters. For example, many keywords are processed in a case insensitive manner. If the site's web filtering algorithm does not convert all tags into a consistent case before the comparison with forbidden keywords it is possible to bypass filters (e.g., incomplete black lists) by using an alternate case structure. For example, the "script" tag using the alternate forms of "Script" or "ScRiPt" may bypass filters where "script" is the only form tested. Other variants using different syntax representations are also possible as well as using pollution meta-characters or entities that are eventually ignored by the rendering engine. The attack can result in the execution of otherwise prohibited functionality.


impactInformation Disclosure
titleVulnerability in Windows Search Could Allow Information Disclosure


NASL familyWindows : Microsoft Bulletins
descriptionThe remote Windows host contains a version of Windows Search that has a flaw in the way it uses MSHTML (a.k.a. Trident) to render HTML content that could result in information disclosure. If an attacker can trick a user on the affected host into putting a specially crafted HTML file on the system or in an indexed mail box and get the user to perform a specific search, the issue could be leveraged to disclose information, forward user data to a third party, or access any data on the affected systems that was accessible to the logged-on user.
last seen2020-06-01
plugin id39345
reporterThis script is Copyright (C) 2009-2018 Tenable Network Security, Inc.
titleMS09-023: Vulnerability in Windows Search Could Allow Information Disclosure (963093)


nameDragos Prisaca
organizationGideon Technologies, Inc.
  • commentMicrosoft Windows XP (x86) SP2 is installed
  • commentMicrosoft Windows XP (x86) SP3 is installed
  • commentMicrosoft Windows XP x64 Edition SP2 is installed
  • commentMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 (x86) is installed
  • commentMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 (x64) is installed
descriptionCross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Windows Search 4.0 for Microsoft Windows XP SP2 and SP3 and Server 2003 SP2 allows user-assisted remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted file that appears in a preview in a search result, aka "Script Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability."
titleScript Execution in Windows Search Vulnerability


descriptionBUGTRAQ ID: 35220 CVE(CAN) ID: CVE-2009-0239 Windows Search允许即时搜索大多数公共文件和数据类型,例如电子邮件、联系人、日历约会、文档、照片、多媒体和由第三方扩展的其他格式。 Windows Search通过嵌入式的浏览器向用户预览搜索结果。为了支持非HTML/XML文件,Windows Search会将这类文件转换为HTML,但转换器在转义字符的时候没有执行任何过滤便将文件加载到了内嵌的浏览器中。根据嵌入式浏览器的安全设置,上述本地HTML文件无需用户同意便拥有部分JavaScript执行权限。 尽管由于安全限制无法自动初始化XMLHTTP的ActiveX实现(如新的ActiveXObject(&quot;Msxml2.XMLHTTP&quot;)…),但可不受限的初始化和使用XMLHttpRequest JS对象(新的XMLHttpRequest()…)。更严重的是在这种环境中XMLHttpRequest对象可以与任何域交互,如果存在的话还会发送用户的持续性Cookie,也就是说攻击者可以利用这个漏洞扮演为站点上已认证的用户。 Microsoft Windows Search 4.0 - Microsoft Windows XP SP3 - Microsoft Windows XP SP2 - Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2 Microsoft --------- Microsoft已经为此发布了一个安全公告(MS09-023)以及相应补丁: MS09-023:Vulnerability in Windows Search Could Allow Information Disclosure (963093) 链接:<a href="" target="_blank" rel=external nofollow></a>
last seen2017-11-19
titleMicrosoft Windows Search脚本注入漏洞(MS09-023)