This article was previously published under Q261255
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express
Microsoft has identified a vulnerability that allows a malicious Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) e-mail message to monitor the contents of the Outlook Express preview pane. After you view a malicious e-mail message in the preview pane, the contents of subsequent e-mail messages that you display in the preview pane can be sent to the malicious e-mail message's author. For this exploit to succeed, the malicious e-mail message's author must also open a separate Microsoft Internet Explorer window during the session. If you quit or restart Outlook Express, the exploit does not work.
This behavior occurs because the document pointer to the preview pane is not removed when you display a new e-mail message in the preview pane.
A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that is described in this article. Apply it only to computers that are experiencing this specific problem. This fix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next Internet Explorer 5.01 service pack that contains this fix.
To resolve this problem immediately, download the fix by clicking the download link later in this article or contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
NOTE: In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.
The following file is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
The Q261255.exe file contains the following files:
Inetcomm.dll Msoe.dll Msoert2.dll
For additional information about how to download Microsoft Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
NOTE: This hotfix is only for use with the English language versions of these products.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Outlook Express 5.01.