Get IE To Launche Remote Apps

"Internet Explorer Bug


Internet Explorer 3.0 and 3.01 for 95 and NT


Microsoft Internet Explorer v3.01 has a serious bug which allows web page writers to use ".LNK" and ".URL" files to run programs on a remote computer. This bug is particularly damaging because it uses NO ActiveX, and works even when Internet Explorer is set to its highest security level. It was tested on Microsoft Internet Explorer Version 3.0 (4.70.1155) running Windows 95. Microsoft says that users running Internet Explorer 3.0 and 3.01 for Windows 95 and Windows NT are affected. It does not affect users of Internet Explorer 3.0 / 3.0a for Windows 3.1 or Internet Explorer for Macintosh 2.1 / 3.0 / 3.0a.

The demos on this page assume that Windows is installed in "C:\WINDOWS". WINDOWS 95 DOES NOT PROMPT YOU BEFORE EXECUTING THESE FILES.

.URLs work in both Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 -- .LNK"s only work in Windows 95 -- .URL files present a possibly greater danger because they can be easily created by server side scripts to meet the specific settings of a user"s system. We will provide .URL files for execution in the next day or so on this page.

The "shortcuts" can be set to be minimized during execution which means that users may not even be aware that a program has been started. Microsoft"s implementation of shortcuts becomes a serious concern if a webpage can tell Internet Explorer to refresh to an executable. Or worse, client side scripts (Java, JavaScript, or VBScript) can use the Explorer object to transfer a BATCH file to the target machine and then META REFRESH to that BATCH file to execute the rogue command in that file.

The following table outlines which areas and users are affected by each shortcut type:

File Type Windows 95 Windows NT Execute Apps Command Line Args Allowed Searches Path
.LNK Yes No Yes Yes No
.URL Yes Yes Yes No Yes
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