Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01/5.5/6.0 IFRAME Rendering Remote Code Execution

CVSS Meta Temp Score
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Current Exploit Price (≈)
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CTI Interest Score
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A vulnerability, which was classified as critical, has been found in Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01/5.5/6.0 (Web Browser). This issue affects some unknown functionality of the component IFRAME Rendering. Impacted is confidentiality, integrity, and availability. The summary by CVE is:

Internet Explorer 5.01, 5.5, and 6.0 allows remote attackers to bypass security zone restrictions and execute arbitrary programs via a web document with a large number of duplicate file:// or other requests that point to the program and open multiple file download dialogs, which eventually cause Internet Explorer to execute the program, as demonstrated using a large number of FRAME or IFRAME tags, aka the "File Download Dialog Vulnerability."

The issue has been introduced in 07/08/2000. The weakness was published 05/09/2003 by Marek Bialoglowy as MS03-020 as confirmed bulletin (Technet). The advisory is shared at The identification of this vulnerability is CVE-2003-0309 since 05/16/2003. 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 are unknown but a public exploit is available.

A public exploit has been developed in RAR Archive. It is declared as proof-of-concept. The exploit is available at The vulnerability was handled as a non-public zero-day exploit for at least 1035 days. During that time the estimated underground price was around $25k-$100k. The commercial vulnerability scanner Qualys is able to test this issue with plugin 100002 (Microsoft Internet Explorer Multiple Vulnerabilities (MS03-020)).

Applying a patch is able to eliminate this problem. The bugfix is ready for download at Furthermore it is possible to detect and prevent this kind of attack with TippingPoint and the filter 2021.

The vulnerability is also documented in the databases at X-Force (12019) and Vulnerability Center (SBV-2819). Similar entries are available at 92 and 20555.





CPE 2.3infoedit

CPE 2.2infoedit


VulDB Meta Base Score: 6.3
VulDB Meta Temp Score: 5.7

VulDB Base Score: 6.3
VulDB Temp Score: 5.7
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Class: Unknown
CWE: Unknown
ATT&CK: Unknown

Local: No
Remote: Yes

Availability: 🔍
Access: Public
Status: Proof-of-Concept
Programming Language: 🔍
Download: 🔍
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Current Price Estimation: 🔍


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

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Recommended: Patch
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07/08/2000 🔍
05/08/2003 +1034 days 🔍
05/09/2003 +0 days 🔍
05/09/2003 +0 days 🔍
05/09/2003 +0 days 🔍
05/16/2003 +7 days 🔍
06/09/2003 +24 days 🔍
11/11/2003 +155 days 🔍
12/12/2003 +31 days 🔍
03/08/2021 +6295 days 🔍



Advisory: MS03-020
Researcher: Marek Bialoglowy
Status: Confirmed

CVE: CVE-2003-0309 (🔍)

X-Force: 12019 - Microsoft Internet Explorer FRAME or IFRAME bypass restrictions, High Risk
Vulnerability Center: 2819 - Internet Explorer 6.0.2800 Allows Security Zone Restrictions Bypass, Medium
SecurityFocus: 7539 - Internet Explorer file:// Request Zone Bypass Vulnerability
Secunia: 8807 - Internet Explorer Automatic File Download and Execution Vulnerability, Moderately Critical
OSVDB: 2968 - Microsoft IE File Download Dialog Overflow

scip Labs:
See also: 🔍


Created: 05/09/2003 02:00 AM
Updated: 03/08/2021 09:58 AM
Changes: (3) vulnerability_cvss2_nvd_basescore source_securityfocus_date source_securityfocus_class
Complete: 🔍


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