MS02-013: Java Applet Can Redirect Browser Traffic

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 300845 - View products that this article applies to.
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Notice
The Microsoft virtual machine (Microsoft VM) update that was previously listed in this article is no longer available. For more information, visit the following Microsoft Web pages:
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/java/default.mspx
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifean12
Expand all | Collapse all

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 host of the applet without the knowledge of the user. 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 the following:
  • 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 the session information of a user and possibly search for user names, passwords, or credit card numbers that are sent in plain (unencrypted) text.

A malicious applet that tries 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.

Status

Microsoft has confirmed that this problem may cause a degree of security vulnerability in the Microsoft virtual machine. This problem was first corrected in Windows 2000 Service Pack 3.

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. Click Start, and then 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. Click Start, and then 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, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms02-013.mspx

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS03-011.mspx
For additional information about the Microsoft virtual machine, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
169803 INFO: Historical List of Shipping Vehicles for Microsoft VM
For support information about Visual J++ and the SDK for Java, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/java

Properties

Article ID: 300845 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 12.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, when used with:
    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
    • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbarchive kbqfe kbbug kbfix kbjava kbsecbulletin kbsechack kbsecurity kbsecvulnerability kbwin2000sp3fix KB300845

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com