Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-057 - Critical

Security Update for Windows Shell (3156987)

Published: May 10, 2016

Version: 1.0

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker successfully convinces a user to browse to a specially crafted website that accepts user-provided online content, or convinces a user to open specially crafted content. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Microsoft Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows 10. For more information, see the Affected Software and Vulnerability Severity Ratings section. The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how Windows Shell handles objects in memory. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Vulnerability Information section.

For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3156987.

Affected Software and Vulnerability Severity Ratings

The following software versions or editions are affected. Versions or editions that are not listed are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

The severity ratings indicated for each affected software assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin’s release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the May bulletin summary.

|**Operating System**|[**Windows Shell Remote Code Execution Vulnerability- CVE-2016-0179**](|**Updates Replaced**\*| |------------|------------|------------| |**Windows 8.1**| |[Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems]( (3156059)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|None| |[Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems]( (3156059)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|None| |**Windows Server 2012 R2**| |[Windows Server 2012 R2]( (3156059)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|None| |**Windows RT 8.1**| |Windows RT 8.1[1](3156059)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|None| |**Windows 10**| |[Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems]([2](3156387)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|[3147461](| |[Windows 10 for x64-based Systems]([2](3156387)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|[3147461](| |[Windows 10 Version 1511 for 32-bit Systems]([2](3156421)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|[3147458](| |[Windows 10 Version 1511 for x64-based Systems]([2](3156421)|**Critical**  Remote Code Execution|[3147458](|

[1]This update is only available via Windows Update.

[2]Windows 10 updates are cumulative. The monthly security release includes all security fixes for vulnerabilities that affect Windows 10, in addition to non-security updates. The updates are available via the Microsoft Update Catalog. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3097617 for more information and download links.

*The Updates Replaced column shows only the latest update in any chain of superseded updates. For a comprehensive list of updates replaced, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog, search for the update KB number, and then view update details (updates replaced information is provided on the Package Details tab).

Note Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 is affected. Customers running this operating system are encouraged to apply the update, which is available via Windows Update.

Vulnerability Information

Windows Shell Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2016-0179

A remote code execution vulnerability exists when Windows Shell improperly handles objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute arbitrary code and take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that is used to attempt to exploit the vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's site. The security update fixes this vulnerability by correcting how Windows Shell handles objects in memory.

The following table contains links to the standard entry for each vulnerability in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list:

|**Vulnerability title**|**CVE number**|**Publicly disclosed**|**Exploited**| |------------|------------|------------|------------| |Windows Shell Remote Code Execution Vulnerability|[CVE-2016-0179](|No|No|

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.


Microsoft has not identified any workarounds for this vulnerability.

Security Update Deployment

For Security Update Deployment information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article referenced in the Executive Summary.


Microsoft recognizes the efforts of those in the security community who help us protect customers through coordinated vulnerability disclosure. See Acknowledgments for more information.


The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.


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