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Alert: Microsoft Security Bulletin - MS03-038


Unchecked buffer in Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer Could Allow Code Execution 

Originally posted:  September 3, 2003


Who should read this bulletin: Customers who use Microsoft® Access or who use 
the downloadable Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer

Impact of vulnerability: Allow an attacker to execute code of their choice

Maximum Severity Rating: Moderate

Recommendation: Customers who use Microsoft Access or who use the downloadable 
Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer should install the security patch at their 
earliest opportunity.

End User Bulletin:
An end user version of this bulletin is available at: 


Affected Software: 
- Microsoft Access 97
- Microsoft Access 2000
- Microsoft Access 2002

Technical description: 

With Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer, you can distribute a snapshot of a 
Microsoft Access database that allows the snapshot to be viewed without having 
Access installed. For example, a customer may want to send a supplier an 
invoice that is generated by using an Access database. With Microsoft Access 
Snapshot Viewer, the customer can package the database so that the supplier can 
view it and print it without having Access installed.The Microsoft Access 
Snapshot Viewer is available with all versions of Access - though it is not 
installed by default - and is also available as a separate stand-alone 
download. The Snapshot Viewer is implemented by using an ActiveX control.

A vulnerability exists because of a flaw in the way that Snapshot Viewer 
validates parameters. Because the parameters are not correctly checked, a 
buffer overrun can occur, which could allow an attacker to execute the code of 
their choice in the security context of the logged-on user.

For an attack to be successful, an attacker would have to persuade a user to 
visit a malicious Web site that is under the attacker's control.

Mitigating factors:
- The Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer is not installed with Microsoft Office 
by default.
- An attacker would need to persuade a user to visit a website under the 
attacker's control for an attack to be successful.
- An attacker's code would run with the same permissions as the user. If a 
user's permissions were restricted the attacker would be similarly restricted.

Vulnerability identifier: CAN-2003-0665

This email is sent to NTBugtraq automatically as a service to my subscribers. 

Russ - Surgeon General of TruSecure Corporation/NTBugtraq Editor

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