FrontPage Server Extensions Image Map Files Expose Security Vulnerability

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Article ID: 260267 - View products that this article applies to.
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The FrontPage 97 and 98 Server Extensions include two image map files, Htimage.exe and Imagemap.exe, which are server-side NCSA and CERN compliant components, that are used to support server-side image maps.

These files were originally provided to support image maps with Netscape and Internet Explorer versions 1.0 and 2.0. However, both files contain unchecked buffers that may be used to run arbitrary code. These files expose security vulnerabilities, which can result in buffer overruns, exploits of cross-site scripting, and access to drive path and file information.

NOTE: This problem does not occur in the FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions.


To eliminate this vulnerability, customers who are hosting Web sites using any of the affected products need to delete all copies of the Htimage.exe and Imagemap.exe files from their servers. The only functionality lost by deleting these files is the ability to support image mapping for Web site visitors using legacy browser products.

This is a short-term fix, because it is possible that FrontPage customers may unknowingly publish the files to the server in their normal course of updating their Webs.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Microsoft FrontPage 97 and 98 for Windows.


The risk posed by this vulnerability is significantly restricted by the fact that the affected components run "out of process" and in the security context of the user. Therefore, there is no capability through this vulnerability that causes either the Web service or the server itself to stop responding, nor is there an opportunity to run code in an elevated security context. However, it may still be possible for a malicious user to perform actions that, although permitted, he or she would otherwise be unable to take because the functionality is not exposed through a Web page or script.

The server-side image map components are rarely used, because, by default, FrontPage creates client-side image maps. Therefore, removing the files from the Web server results in minimal or no impact to the end user.

Affected Software Versions

The affected components are part of the FrontPage 97 and 98 Server Extensions. However, they are also included with several other Web server products. The following is a complete list of products in which these components are included:
  • FrontPage 97 Server Extensions, included in FrontPage 97
  • FrontPage 98 Server Extensions, included in FrontPage 98
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack
  • Personal Web Server 4.0, included in Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows 98


It is recommended that ISPs and server administrators use the functionality that is built into the Server Extensions to limit authors from uploading files to executable folders on the Web server. The default setting for the FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions is to deny uploading files to executable folders. The default setting for FrontPage 2000 prevents the Htimage.exe and Imagemap.exe files from being published to the Cgi-bin folder in the Web.

To learn more about these settings with the FrontPage 2000 or FrontPage 98 Server Extensions, please see the following resources:

From the FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions Resource Kit:
From the FrontPage 98 Server Extensions Resource Kit:


Please see the following references for more information related to this issue:
Frequently Asked Questions: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS00-028

Microsoft TechNet Security web site


Article ID: 260267 - Last Review: January 9, 2007 - Revision: 2.8
  • Microsoft FrontPage 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft FrontPage 97 Standard Edition
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Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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