MS09-046: Vulnerability in the DHTML Editing Component ActiveX control could allow remote code execution

Applies to: Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (32-bit x86)Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)


Microsoft has released security bulletin MS09-046. To view the complete security bulletin, visit one of the following Microsoft Web sites:

How to obtain help and support for this security update

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More Information

More information about this security update

Known issues with this security update

This security update adds a new version of the DHTML Editing Control that injects the following META elements into the document containing the DHTML Editing Control for each operation that targets the document's HTML.
<META content="text/html; charset=unicode" http-eqiv=Content-Type>
<META name=GENERATOR content="MSHTML <version>">
The SourceCodePreservation property is obsolete in the DHTML Editing Control. This may break the existing applications that are incompatible with the additional encoding of the character set to Unicode. One method to resolve this issue is to identify the META element in the output stream and to replace the character set specification with the desired encoding.

As part of the attack surface reduction effort, code that provided partial preservation of markup formatting was removed from the DHTML control. The new DHTML control sends data directly to MSHTML and returns HTML output. MSHTML and the DHTML control do not fully preserve formatting. MSHTML provides visual rendering of "normalized" HTML by adding missing elements. These normalization changes include adding the closing </td> tag, adding the <html> and <head> tags, and positioning the <style> tag and the <script> tag elements inside the <head> element. The DHTML control parses the HTML into a document model and then re-creates it from the model when you save the file. Additional formatting can be achieved by using the HTML Tidy tool on the output from the DHTML control. For more information about the HTML Tidy tool, visit the following Web site: Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.


The English (United States) version of this software update installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time and with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.

Windows 2000 file information

For all supported editions of Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4

File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatform

Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 file information

  • The files that apply to a specific milestone (RTM, SPn) and service branch (QFE, GDR) are noted in the "SP requirement" and "Service branch" columns.
  • GDR service branches contain only those fixes that are widely released to address widespread, critical issues. QFE service branches contain hotfixes in addition to widely released fixes.
  • In addition to the files that are listed in these tables, this software update also installs an associated security catalog file ( that is signed with a Microsoft digital signature.

For all supported x86-based versions of Windows XP

File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch

For all supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2003 and of Windows XP Professional x64 edition

File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch

For all supported x86-based versions of Windows Server 2003

File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch

For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2003

File nameFile versionFile sizeDateTimePlatformSP requirementService branch