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Mitigation Instructions for CVE-2010-3972

SUBJECT: CVE-2010-3972 Heap-based buffer overflow

TECH STACK: Microsoft FTP Service 7.0 and 7.5

DATE(S) ISSUED: 12/23/2010

NVD Last Modified: 02/05/2021



CVE-2010-3972 is a serious security vulnerability that specifically affects Microsoft FTP Service 7.0 and 7.5 for Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and IIS 7.5.

The vulnerability is a heap-based buffer overflow in the TELNET_STREAM_CONTEXT::OnSendData function in ftpsvc.dll, a dynamic link library associated with the FTP service in IIS.

A buffer overflow is a type of software vulnerability that occurs when more data is written to a buffer, or temporary data storage area, than it can handle. This can lead to the corruption of data, crashes, or the execution of malicious code. In this case, the buffer overflow is "heap-based," meaning it occurs in the heap data area, a region of a computer's memory space that is used for dynamic memory allocation.

What makes this vulnerability especially serious is that it allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a Denial of Service (DoS) via a crafted FTP command. This is also referred to as an "IIS FTP Service Heap Buffer Overrun Vulnerability".

Executing arbitrary code could allow an attacker to gain control of the system, while a DoS attack could make the system unavailable to its intended users by crashing the daemon (a background process that handles requests for services).


Microsoft has addressed the vulnerability CVE-2010-3972 in their security bulletin MS11-004. To mitigate this vulnerability, follow these steps:

  1. Update your software: Microsoft has provided patches for this vulnerability. You should immediately apply the update corresponding to the FTP service for Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 and 7.5. The specific update needed can be found in the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS11-004.

  2. Disable unnecessary services: If FTP Service is not required, consider disabling it to reduce the attack surface of the system.

  3. Apply Principle of Least Privilege: Ensure that all systems and services are running with the minimum privileges necessary for their function. This can limit the potential damage in the event of an exploit.

  4. Network Segmentation: Isolate your systems to limit the potential spread of an exploit. Systems which require the FTP service should be placed in a separate network segment to limit access to the rest of your network.

  5. Firewalls: Implement firewall rules to limit access to services to only those who need it. Block unnecessary ports and secure necessary ones with strong access control policies.

Remember, the best way to protect your systems from vulnerabilities is to apply updates and patches as soon as they become available.


Resources and Advisories:

  1. Microsoft Security Response Center Blog
  2. Exploit DB
  3. US Government Resource (CERT Vulnerability Note VU#842372)
  4. Security Focus (BID:45542)
  5. Security Tracker
  6. VUPEN Advisory
  7. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS11-004
  8. IBM X-Force Exchange Vulnerabilities
  9. OVAL Repository

Confirmation & Additional Information:

  1. Security Focus Confirmation (BID:45542)
  2. CERT Vulnerability Note Confirmation (VU#842372)
  3. Exploit DB Confirmation
  4. Microsoft Security Response Center Blog
  5. Microsoft Security Bulletin Confirmation (MS11-004)
  6. OVAL Repository Confirmation
  7. Security Tracker Confirmation
  8. VUPEN Advisory Confirmation
  9. IBM X-Force Exchange Vulnerabilities Confirmation

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