MS02-072: Unchecked Buffer in Windows Shell Might Permit System Compromise

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q329390
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
The Windows shell is responsible for providing the basic framework of the Windows user interface experience. It is most familiar as the Windows desktop, but also provides a variety of other functions to help define your computing session, including organizing files and folders, and providing the means to start programs.

An unchecked buffer exists in one of the functions that is used by the Windows shell to extract custom attribute information from audio files. This causes a security vulnerability because it is possible for a malicious user to mount a buffer-overrun attack and to try to exploit this flaw.

An attacker might try to exploit this vulnerability by creating an .mp3 or .wma file that contains a corrupted custom attribute, and then hosting the file on a Web site or on a network share, or sending it as an HTML e-mail message. If you pause your mouse pointer over the icon for the file (either on a Web page or on the local disk), or you open the shared folder in which the file is stored, the vulnerable code might be started. An HTML e-mail message can cause the vulnerable code to be started when you open or preview the e-mail message. A successful attack might cause the Windows shell to stop working, or might cause the attacker's code to run on your computer in your security context.

Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Download Information

The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:



Release Date: December 18, 2002

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.

Installation Information

You can install this update on computer that are running Windows XP or Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). You must restart your computer after you install this update. This update supports the following Setup switches:
  • /?: Display the list of installation switches.
  • /u: Use Unattended mode.
  • /f: Force other programs to quit when the computer shuts down.
  • /n: Do not back up files for removal.
  • /o: Overwrite OEM files without prompting.
  • /z: Do not restart when installation is complete.
  • /q: Use Quiet mode (no user interaction).
  • /l: List installed hotfixes.
  • /x: Extract the files without running Setup.
For example, to install the update without any user intervention, and then not to force the computer to restart, use the following command line:
q329390_wxp_sp2_x86_enu /u /q /z
Warning Your computer is vulnerable until you restart it.

File Information

The English version of this fix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.


   Date         Time   Version        Size     Path and file name   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   19-Sep-2002  16:27  6.0.2600.101   126,464  %WinDir%\System32\Shmedia.dll (pre-SP1)   30-Sep-2002  15:58  6.0.2800.1125  125,440  %WinDir%\System32\Shmedia.dll (with SP1)


   Date         Time   Version        Size     Path and File name   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   19-Sep-2002  16:27  6.0.2600.101   121,344  %WinDir%\System32\Shmedia.dll (pre-SP1)   30-Sep-2002  15:58  6.0.2800.1125  120,320  %WinDir%\System32\Shmedia.dll (with SP1)
Microsoft has confirmed that this problem may cause a degree of security vulnerability in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.
For more information about this vulnerability, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Article ID: 329390 - Last Review: 02/27/2014 21:15:14 - Revision: 4.3

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

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