TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

IBM SPSS ExportHTML.dll ActiveX Control Render Method Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-12-026: February 8th, 2012


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 12040. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of IBM SPSS. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file.

The specific flaw exists within the Render() method exposed by the ExportHTML.dll ActiveX control. This method causes a file to be written to an arbitrary path specified by the second argument (Output). The contents of the file can be controlled by manipulating the object members 'CssLocation', 'LayoutStyle' and 'EmbedCss'. The CssLocation member can be directed to a UNC path containing a file to be included in the file generated by the call to Render(). These behaviors can be exploited by an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

Vendor Response

IBM has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2011-07-20 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2012-02-08 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Andrea Micalizzi aka rgod