Microsoft KB Archive/185378

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IIS 4.0: FTP "Bounce" Attack and CERT Advisory CA-97.27

Article ID: 185378

Article Last Modified on 6/23/2005


  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0

This article was previously published under Q185378

We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


The CERT ( Advisory CA-97.27 warns of an FTP security attack called the "Bounce" attack. This involves misuse of the Port command to maliciously open a connection to a port on the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) server.

The FTP Server service in Microsoft Internet Information Server version 4.0 (IIS) is not susceptible to this attack.


The FTP server in IIS 4.0 disallows third-party data transfers. This is done via a modification to the implementation of the Port command. When the FTP server receives a Port command, the specified IP address must match the client's source IP address for the control channel.

The FTP server in IIS 4.0 also has another level of protection: disallowing the Port command from specifying reserved ports (those less than 1024) except Port 20 (the default data port). By default, any client attempt to issue a Port command with (port < 1024 and port != 20) causes the Port command to fail.

Keywords: kbinfo KB185378