Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for May 2004

Published: May 11, 2004

Version: 1.0

This bulletin summary lists security bulletins released for May 2004.

For information about how to receive automatic notifications whenever Microsoft security bulletins are issued, visit Microsoft Technical Security Notifications.

Bulletin Information


Included in this summary are updates for discovered vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. These vulnerabilities, broken down by severity are:


Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-015 – Vulnerability in Help and Support Center Could Allow Remote Code Execution (840374)

Affected Software Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Version 2003
Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 64-Bit Edition
Impact Remote Code Execution
Last Revised May 11, 2004
Version Number 1.1

Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance

Security Central

Manage the software and security updates you need to deploy to the servers, desktop, and mobile computers in your organization. For more information see the TechNet Update Management Center. The TechNet Security TechCenter provides additional information about security in Microsoft products. Consumers can visit Microsoft Safety & Security Center, where this information is also available by clicking "Security Updates."

Security updates are available from Microsoft Update and Windows Update. Security updates are also available at the Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security update."

For customers of Microsoft Office for Mac, Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac can help keep your Microsoft software up to date. For more information about using Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac, see Check for software updates automatically.

Finally, security updates can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog. The Microsoft Update Catalog provides a searchable catalog of content made available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including security updates, drivers and service packs. By searching using the security bulletin number (such as, "MS12-001"), you can add all of the applicable updates to your basket (including different languages for an update), and download to the folder of your choosing. For more information about the Microsoft Update Catalog, see the Microsoft Update Catalog FAQ.

Detection and Deployment Guidance

Microsoft provides detection and deployment guidance for security updates. This guidance contains recommendations and information that can help IT professionals understand how to use various tools for detection and deployment of security updates. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 961747.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) allows administrators to scan local and remote systems for missing security updates as well as common security misconfigurations. For more information about MBSA, see Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.

Windows Server Update Services

By using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), administrators can quickly and reliably deploy the latest critical updates and security updates for Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems and later, Office XP and later, Exchange Server 2003, and SQL Server 2000 to Microsoft Windows 2000 and later operating systems.

For more information about how to deploy this security update using Windows Server Update Services, visit Windows Server Update Services.

System Center Configuration Manager

System Center Configuration Manager Software Update Management simplifies the complex task of delivering and managing updates to IT systems across the enterprise. With System Center Configuration Manager, IT administrators can deliver updates of Microsoft products to a variety of devices including desktops, laptops, servers, and mobile devices.

The automated vulnerability assessment in System Center Configuration Manager discovers needs for updates and reports on recommended actions. The Software Update Management in System Center Configuration Manager is built on Microsoft Windows Software Update Services (WSUS), a time-tested update infrastructure that is familiar to IT administrators worldwide. For more information about System Center Configuration Manager, see System Center Technical Resources.

Systems Management Server 2003

Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) delivers a highly-configurable enterprise solution for managing updates. By using SMS, administrators can identify Windows-based systems that require security updates and to perform controlled deployment of these updates throughout the enterprise with minimal disruption to end users.

Note System Management Server 2003 is out of mainstream support as of January 12, 2010. For more information on product lifecycles, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle. The next release of SMS, System Center Configuration Manager, is now available; see the earlier section, System Center Configuration Manager.

For more information about how administrators can use SMS 2003 to deploy security updates, see Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Software Distribution and Patch Management. For information about SMS, visit the Microsoft Systems Management Server TechCenter.

Note SMS uses the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer to provide broad support for security bulletin update detection and deployment. Some software updates may not be detected by these tools. Administrators can use the inventory capabilities of SMS in these cases to target updates to specific systems. For more information about this procedure, see Deploying Software Updates Using the SMS Software Distribution Feature. Some security updates require administrative rights following a restart of the system. Administrators can use the Elevated Rights Deployment Tool (available in the SMS 2003 Administration Feature Pack) to install these updates.

Update Compatibility Evaluator and Application Compatibility Toolkit

Updates often write to the same files and registry settings required for your applications to run. This can trigger incompatibilities and increase the time it takes to deploy security updates. You can streamline testing and validating Windows updates against installed applications with the Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) contains the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows Vista, a Windows Update, a Microsoft Security Update, or a new version of Windows Internet Explorer in your environment.

QChain.exe and Update.exe:

Microsoft has released a command-line tool named QChain.exe that gives system administrators the ability to safely chain security updates together. Chaining is when you install multiple updates without rebooting between each install. Update.exe, used in the updates described in this advisory, has chaining functionality built in. For customers using Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 or higher, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003, Qchain.exe is not required to chain these updates. Qchain.exe still supports chaining these Windows Updates so that an administrator can create a consistent deployment script across all platforms. For more information on Qchain, visit this Web site.

Other Information

Non-Security Updates on MU, WU, and WSUS

For information about non-security releases on Windows Update and Microsoft Update, please see:

Security Strategies and Community

Update Management Strategies

Security Guidance for Update Management provides additional information about Microsoft’s best-practice recommendations for applying security updates.

Obtaining Other Security Updates

Updates for other security issues are available from the following locations:

  • Security updates are available from Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security update".
  • Updates for consumer platforms are available from Microsoft Update.
  • You can obtain the security updates offered this month on Windows Update, from Download Center on Security and Critical Releases ISO CD Image files. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 913086.

IT Pro Security Community

Learn to improve security and optimize your IT infrastructure, and participate with other IT Pros on security topics in IT Pro Security Community.


Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:

  • Donnie Werner of for reporting an issue described in MS04-015.



The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.


  • V1.0 (May 11, 2004): Bulletin Summary published.

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