Public Vulnerability Reports

Macrovision InstallShield Update Service ActiveX Unsafe Method Vulnerability



MacroVision InstallShield is an installer solution utilized by many software vendors in order to ensure that their products are delivered and setup properly on the end-user systems. InstallSheild includes support for an optional component called the "Update Service". This service allows vendors to notify clients of product patches and updates, and allow them to be easily installed. More information on this product is available on the vendor's site at the following URL.


Remote exploitation of an unsafe method vulnerability in Macrovision InstallShield Update Service allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the currently logged-in user.

The Update Service is implemented as an ActiveX control with the following properties:

 CLSID: E9880553-B8A7-4960-A668-95C68BED571E File: C:WindowsDownloaded Filesisusweb.dll Version:, and 

This control is marked "safe for scripting". Several methods within this control can be utilized by attackers to download and launch arbitrary executables.


Exploitation allows attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the currently logged-in user. In order for exploitation to occur, users would be required to have a vulnerable version of the software installed and be lured to a malicious site. Even though the update control does display an interface, no additional interaction is required in order for exploitation to occur.

Since this control is marked "safe for scripting", it can be launched from a web page without warning dialogs. While it is possible for an alert user to determine what is occurring and cancel the installation, the window of opportunity is small and based solely upon the time required for the system to complete the download.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in versions, and of Macrovision InstallShield Update Service. Previous versions are also suspected to be vulnerable.

This component is known to be distributed with Macrovision's InstallShield 2008 application as well as their FlexNet SDK. Since the component is designed to be utilized by 3rd party vendors, it is believed to be widely distributed by a diverse range of products.


Administrators can set the kill-bit for the vulnerable ActiveX control with the following .reg file. This will prevent the control from loading within Internet Explorer.

 Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerActiveX Compatibility{E9880553-B8A7-4960-A668-95C68BED571E}] "Compatibility Flags"=dword:00000400 


Macrovision has addressed this vulnerability by releasing updated versions of their FlexNet and InstallShield products. They report that the new versions are no longer marked as "safe for scripting". For more information, consult the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-5660 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


09/24/2007 Initial vendor notification
09/24/2007 Initial vendor response
10/31/2007 Coordinated public disclosure


The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.

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Copyright © 2007 Verisign, Inc.

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