Critical Vulnerability in FrontPage Server Extensions

Microsoft publicized a critical new vulnerability for Web servers running its FrontPage Server Extensions.

FrontPage Server Extensions (FPSE) are a set of Web server-side tools to accommodate Web sites built and administered using Microsoft's FrontPage Web site building tool. FPSE support Web forms and other FrontPage-based dynamic content. FPSE are installed by default in IIS versions 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1. Microsoft has recommended previously that users disable the FrontPage Server Extensions on servers where they are not needed.

The vulnerability is exploited through a specially crafted request for a particular type of Web file. The vulnerability works differently on FrontPage Server Extensions 2000 and FrontPage Server Extensions 2002. In the 2000 version, exploiting the flaw creates a denial of service condition on the Web server. In the 2002 version, the flaw results in a buffer overflow that could result in privilege elevation.

The specific component of FPSE involved in the vulnerability is called the SmartHTML Interpreter. Microsoft noted in its security bulletin about the vulnerability that the IIS Lockdown tool disables the SmartHTML Interpreter. Another mitigating factor is that servers aren't vulnerable to the attack if the FPSE have been disabled.

The fix will be included in Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 and Windows XP Service Pack 2. The bulletin and patch are available at:

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


  • Microsoft Resumes Rerelease of Windows 10 Version 1809

    Microsoft on Wednesday once more resumed its general rollout of the Windows 10 version 1809 upgrade, also known as the "October 2018 Update."

  • Microsoft Ups Its Windows 10 App Compatibility Assurances

    Microsoft gave assurances this week that organizations adopting Windows 10 likely won't face application compatibility issues.

  • SharePoint Online Users To Get 'Modern' UI Push in April

    Microsoft plans to alter some of the tenant-level blocking capabilities that may have been set up by organizations and deliver its so-called "modern" user interface (UI) to Lists and Libraries for SharePoint Online users, starting in April.

  • How To Use PowerShell Splatting

    Despite its weird name, splatting can be a really handy technique if you create a lot of PowerShell scripts.

comments powered by Disqus
Most   Popular

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.