Microsoft Vulnerability Research Advisory MSVR12-006

Vulnerability in RealNetworks Helix Universal Media Server Could Allow Denial of Service

Published: April 17, 2012

Version: 1.0


Executive Summary

Microsoft is providing notification of the discovery and remediation of a vulnerability affecting RealNetworks Helix Universal Media Server software version and earlier. Microsoft discovered and disclosed the vulnerability under coordinated vulnerability disclosure to the affected vendor, RealNetworks. RealNetworks has remediated the vulnerability in their software.

A vulnerability exists in the way that the Helix Universal Media Server parses URLs. Clicking a link that has a malformed URL as an administrative user could cause a denial of service condition in the server process.

Microsoft Vulnerability Research reported this issue to and coordinated with RealNetworks to ensure remediation of this issue. The vulnerability has been assigned the entry, CVE-2012-1985, in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list. For more information about the vulnerability, including information about updates from RealNetworks, see the April 2, 2012 Security Update for Helix Server and Helix Mobile Server.

Mitigating Factors

  • An attacker would have to leverage a cross-site request forgery (csrf) attack in order to trick the administrator into loading a malformed URL.

Advisory Details

Purpose and Recommendation

Purpose of Advisory: To notify users of a vulnerability and its remediation.

Advisory Status: Advisory published.

Recommendation: Review the Suggested Actions section and configure as appropriate.

Issue References

For more information about this issue, see the following references:

Reference Identification
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures CVE-2012-1985

Affected and Non-Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software:

Affected Software
Helix Universal Media Server version and earlier
Non-Affected Software
Helix Universal Media Server version 14.3.x

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scope of this advisory?
This advisory is part of a coordinated release with affected vendors to inform customers of a security issue that may affect their systems.

Is this a security vulnerability that requires Microsoft to issue a security update?
No. This vulnerability has been fixed via an update from the affected third-party vendors. The update remediates the software listed in the table, Affected Software.

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a denial of service vulnerability.

What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability is caused when the server process improperly parses a specially crafted URL.

What might an attacker use this vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could cause a denial of service in Helix Universal Media Server.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
An attacker could exploit this issue by convincing a user with administrative access on the server to click a link that has a specially crafted URL.

Suggested Actions

Update to the latest version of RealNetworks Helix Universal Media Server.

Other Information


Microsoft thanks the following:

  • Tom Gallagher of Microsoft and RealNetworks for working toward a resolution


The information provided in this advisory 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 (April 17, 2012): Advisory published.

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