TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Microsoft Windows .LNK DLL Planting Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-15-086: March 11th, 2015


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products


TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 19340. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Windows. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious web page or open a malicious directory or device.

The specific flaw exists within the handling of LNK files by the Windows shell. By providing a pair of crafted files, an attacker is able to force the Explorer process to load an arbitrary DLL when displaying file icons in the directory view. This allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the Explorer process.

Vendor Response

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

Disclosure Timeline

    2015-01-08 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2015-03-11 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Michael Heerklotz