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Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.


Threat LevelLow threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread


MS10-046 is not categorized as virus, worm, Trojan or backdoor. It is a critical 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, MS10-046 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 with a malicious shortcut file and an associated malicious binary. It can also be exploited by placing the malicious components in a malicious website or a remote network share.


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.