Apparently Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) comes stock with some bugs. While that will probably not surprise most cheeky PC-cum-Mac-users, these particular vulnerabilities can be exploited by hackers to initiate cross-site scripting attacks or otherwise compromise a system lacking adequate protection.
In essence, the bugs bring compromised systems back to the pre-malware days.Microsoft Content Management Server enables Web developers to create complex sites on the popular .NET framework, generally used for enterprise portals and e-commerce sites. Many of MCMS 2002's functions are integrated into SharePoint Server 2007. Both products are widely used on the market, with MCMS alone present on over 5,000 sites per a survey made just last year.
There are two major weaknesses inherent to Microsoft Content Management Server:
* An error in the processing of certain HTTP requests is an open invitation for memory corruption through a properly manipulated URL in certain HTTP GET requests. In the hands of a deft system infiltrator, the computer then becomes a vehicle for the execution of malicious code.
* Some types of input information is not properly processed before returning to users. In an affected site, this negligence leaves the user open to external execution of HTML and script during the browser session.
Netcraft's Martyn Tovey discovered the system weakness. Having heard the sad news, Microsoft elaborates on the implications of leaving the Content Management Server unpatched: "In a Web-based attack scenario a compromised Web site could accept or host user-provided content or advertisements which could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability."
Remember the old spyware scare? Consider this a spam revival of Woodstock proportions.
"The script could take any action on the user's behalf that the Web site is authorized to take," Microsoft continues in its statement on the issue. "This could include monitoring the Web session and forwarding information to a third party, running other code on the user's system, and reading or writing cookies."
To address the matter Microsoft released a patch called update MS07-18, which covers both cross-site scripting and spoofing vulnerabilities. The patch is now included in all current security updates.
McAfee, quick to the draw, also announced that they protect against these vulnerabilities and others.
Netcraft, the whizzes credited to catching the vulnerability, provides a Web Application Testing service that vigilantly pushes the limits of Internet network and application defenses. This service is part of Audited by Netcraft, which conducts different types of advanced Internet security tests.
Read more about the security hole at the Netcraft website, or check out MCMS. And unless you want to deal with gaudy giveaways and pop-up phalluses, please do download the security patch.