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DLL Hijacking vulnerability is caused by specific insecure programming practices that allow so-called “binary planting” or “DLL preloading attacks”. These practices could allow an attacker to remotely execute arbitrary code in the context of the user running the vulnerable application when the user opens a file from an untrusted location.
This issue is caused by applications passing an insufficiently qualified path when loading an external library. Microsoft has issued guidance to developers in the MSDN article, Dynamic-Link Library Security, on how to correctly use the available application programming interfaces to prevent this class of vulnerability. Microsoft is also actively reaching out to third-party vendors through the Microsoft Vulnerability Research Program to inform them of the mitigations available in the operating system. Microsoft is also actively investigating which of its own applications may be affected.
The Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 rendering engine on Windows 7 contains a remote DLL hijacking vulnerability which searches for a component that by default does not exist in the system. Although the search order is “safe”, the current directory is still included thus allowing for a DLL hijack vulnerability to exist. Several vectors exist since the IE rendering engine is used by a lot of third parties software. In this proof of concept we will use, HTML documents and SVG documents, it is also possible to use Word documents but we will not show how to do this in this advisory.