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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   InstallShield Vendors:   Macrovision Corporation
Macrovision InstallShield Unsafe Method in Update Service ActiveX Control Lets Remote Users Execute Arbitrary Code
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1018881
SecurityTracker URL:
CVE Reference:   CVE-2007-5660   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Nov 1 2007
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, User access via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  

Description:   A vulnerability was reported in InstallShield in the Update Service ActiveX control. A remote user can cause arbitrary code to be executed on the target user's system.

A remote user can create specially crafted HTML that, when loaded by the target user, will invoke an ActiveX control and execute arbitrary code on the target system. The code will run with the privileges of the target user.

The CLSID of the vulnerable control is: E9880553-B8A7-4960-A668-95C68BED571E

The control is distributed with InstallShield 2008 and with the Macrovision FlexNet SDK.

This vulnerability was reported via iDefense.

[Editor's note: The vendor states that they were notified on October 8, 2007 and the iDefense report states that the vendor was notified on September 24, 2007.]

Impact:   A remote user can create HTML that, when loaded by the target user, will execute arbitrary code on the target user's system.
Solution:   The vendor has issued a fixed version.

The Macrovision advisory is available at:

Vendor URL: (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Windows (Any)

Message History:   None.

 Source Message Contents

Subject:  iDefense Security Advisory 10.31.07: Macrovision InstallShield Update

Macrovision InstallShield Update Service ActiveX Unsafe Method Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 10.31.07
Oct 31, 2007


MacroVision InstallShield is an installer solution utilized by many
software vendors in order to ensure that their products are delivered
and setup properly on the end-user systems. InstallSheild includes
support for an optional component called the "Update Service". This
service allows vendors to notify clients of product patches and
updates, and allow them to be easily installed. More information on
this product is available on the vendor's site at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of an unsafe method vulnerability in Macrovision
InstallShield Update Service allows attackers to execute arbitrary code
with the privileges of the currently logged-in user.

The Update Service is implemented as an ActiveX control with the
following properties:

  CLSID: E9880553-B8A7-4960-A668-95C68BED571E
  File: C:\Windows\Downloaded Files\isusweb.dll
  Version:, and

This control is marked "safe for scripting". Several methods within this
control can be utilized by attackers to download and launch arbitrary


Exploitation allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with the
privileges of the currently logged-in user. In order for exploitation
to occur, users would be required to have a vulnerable version of the
software installed and be lured to a malicious site. Even though the
update control does display an interface, no additional interaction is
required in order for exploitation to occur.

Since this control is marked "safe for scripting", it can be launched
from a web page without warning dialogs. While it is possible for an
alert user to determine what is occurring and cancel the installation,
the window of opportunity is small and based solely upon the time
required for the system to complete the download.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in versions, and of Macrovision InstallShield Update
Service. Previous versions are also suspected to be vulnerable.

This component is known to be distributed with Macrovision's
InstallShield 2008 application as well as their FlexNet SDK. Since the
component is designed to be utilized by 3rd party vendors, it is
believed to be widely distributed by a diverse range of products.


Administrators can set the kill-bit for the vulnerable ActiveX control
with the following .reg file. This will prevent the control from
loading within Internet Explorer.

  Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\ActiveX
  "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400


Macrovision has addressed this vulnerability by releasing updated
versions of their FlexNet and InstallShield products. They report that
the new versions are no longer marked as "safe for scripting". For more
information, consult the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-5660 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


09/24/2007  Initial vendor notification
09/24/2007  Initial vendor response
10/31/2007  Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
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written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically,
please e-mail for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
 There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.


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