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Also by default, all supported versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express, and Windows Mail open HTML email messages in the restricted sites zone. According to the company, the restricted sites zone, which disables script and ActiveX controls, helps reduce the risk that an attacker can use this vulnerability to execute malicious code. If a user clicks a link in an email message, the user could still be vulnerable to exploitation of this vulnerability through the web-based attack scenario.
Microsoft said an attacker who successfully exploits this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
"In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a webpage that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability," Microsoft said.
"In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site."