Microsoft Internet Explorer GIF Image MSHTML.DLL memory corruption

CVSS Meta Temp Score
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Current Exploit Price (≈)
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CTI Interest Score
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A vulnerability was found in Microsoft Internet Explorer (Web Browser) (unknown version) and classified as very critical. This issue affects an unknown code block in the library MSHTML.DLL of the component GIF Image Handler. The manipulation with an unknown input leads to a memory corruption vulnerability. Using CWE to declare the problem leads to CWE-119. The product performs operations on a memory buffer, but it can read from or write to a memory location that is outside of the intended boundary of the buffer. Impacted is confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The summary by CVE is:

Double free vulnerability in mshtml.dll for certain versions of Internet Explorer 6.x allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via a malformed GIF image.

The weakness was disclosed 09/02/2003 by Marc Ruef with scip AG as ms04-025 (Website). The advisory is shared at The identification of this vulnerability is CVE-2003-1048 since 07/20/2004. The attack may be initiated remotely. No form of authentication is needed for a successful exploitation. It demands that the victim is doing some kind of user interaction. Technical details as well as a public exploit are known. The price for an exploit might be around USD $0-$5k at the moment (estimation calculated on 03/08/2021). It is expected to see the exploit prices for this product decreasing in the near future.

After 1 days, there has been an exploit disclosed. The exploit is available at It is declared as proof-of-concept. We expect the 0-day to have been worth approximately $25k-$100k. The vulnerability scanner Nessus provides a plugin with the ID 10861 (MS02-005: MSIE 5.01 5.5 6.0 Cumulative Patch (890923)), which helps to determine the existence of the flaw in a target environment. It is assigned to the family Windows : Microsoft Bulletins. The commercial vulnerability scanner Qualys is able to test this issue with plugin 100008 (Microsoft Internet Explorer Multiple Vulnerabilities (MS04-025)).

Applying a patch is able to eliminate this problem. The bugfix is ready for download at

The vulnerability is also documented in the databases at X-Force (16804) and Tenable (10861). is providing further details. The entries 3, 45, 378 and 499 are pretty similar.







  • end of life

CPE 2.3info

CPE 2.2info


VulDB Meta Base Score: 6.3
VulDB Meta Temp Score: 6.0

VulDB Base Score: 6.3
VulDB Temp Score: 6.0
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Class: Memory corruption
CWE: CWE-119
ATT&CK: Unknown

Local: No
Remote: Yes

Availability: 🔍
Access: Public
Status: Proof-of-Concept
Download: 🔍

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Current Price Estimation: 🔍


Nessus ID: 10861
Nessus Name: MS02-005: MSIE 5.01 5.5 6.0 Cumulative Patch (890923)
Nessus File: 🔍
Nessus Risk: 🔍
Nessus Family: 🔍

OpenVAS ID: 10861
OpenVAS Name: IE 5.01 5.5 6.0 Cumulative patch (890923)
OpenVAS File: 🔍
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Qualys ID: 🔍
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Threat Intelligenceinfo

Interest: 🔍
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Recommended: Disable
Status: 🔍

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McAfee IPS: 🔍
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PaloAlto IPS: 🔍


09/02/2003 🔍
09/02/2003 +0 days 🔍
09/03/2003 +1 days 🔍
09/03/2003 +0 days 🔍
07/20/2004 +321 days 🔍
07/27/2004 +7 days 🔍
07/30/2004 +3 days 🔍
07/30/2004 +0 days 🔍
08/01/2004 +1 days 🔍
03/08/2021 +6063 days 🔍



Advisory: ms04-025
Researcher: Marc Ruef
Organization: scip AG
Status: Not defined

CVE: CVE-2003-1048 (🔍)

X-Force: 16804 - Microsoft Internet Explorer MSHTML.DLL GIF file buffer overflow, High Risk
Vulnerability Center: 4915 - [MS04-040] Microsoft Internet Explorer Allows DoS and Code Execution via Malfo, Medium
SecurityFocus: 8530 - Microsoft Internet Explorer Malformed GIF Double Free Code Execution Vulnerability
Secunia: 12192 - Microsoft Internet Explorer Multiple Vulnerabilities, Highly Critical
OSVDB: 8277 - Microsoft IE Malformed GIF Double-free DoS

scip Labs:
Misc.: 🔍
See also: 🔍


Created: 09/03/2003 10:32 AM
Updated: 03/08/2021 04:44 PM
Changes: 09/03/2003 10:32 AM (100), 10/08/2018 02:53 PM (3), 03/08/2021 04:44 PM (3)
Complete: 🔍


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