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Security Advisory 2286198

Threat LevelLow threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread
Affected platforms:

Windows 2003/XP

worm, vulnerability in the Windows Shell on Windows 2008/7/Vista/2003/XP computers, which allows arbitrary code to be remotely executed in the vulnerable computer.

The Windows Shell provides users with access to a wide variety of objects necessary for running applications and managing the operating system. However, there is a vulnerability that occurs because the Windows Shell does not correctly validate specific parameters of the shortcut when it attempts to load the icon of a shortcut.

A shortcut is a link to a file or program represented by an icon.

If exploited successfully, Security Advisory 2286198 allows hackers to gain remote control of the affected computer with the same privileges as the logged on user. If this user had administrator rights, the hacker could take complete control of the system: create, modify or delete files, install programs, create new user accounts, etc.

This vulnerability can be exploited through removable drives and can be distributed over network shares or remote WebDAV shares.


Microsoft has already released the security patch that solves this vulnerability. If you have a Windows 2008/7/Vista/2003/XP computer, it is recommended to download and apply the security patch for this vulnerability. Click here to access the web page for downloading the patch.