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CPLINK and Win32/CplLnk.A are names for a Microsoft Windows shortcut icon vulnerability discovered in June 2010 and patched on 2 August[1][2] that affected all Windows operating systems. The vulnerability is exploitable when any Windows application that display shortcut icons, such as Windows Explorer,[3] browses to a folder containing a malicious shortcut.[4] The exploit can be triggered without any user interaction, regardless where the shortcut file is located.[4][5]

In June 2010, VirusBlokAda reported detection of zero-day attack malware called Stuxnet that exploited the vulnerability to install a rootkit that snooped Siemens' SCADA systems WinCC[6] and PCS 7.[7] According to Symantec it is the first worm designed to reprogram industrial systems and not only to spy on them.[8]


  1. ^ "Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-046 - Critical / Vulnerability in Windows Shell Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2286198)". Microsoft. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Microsoft issues 'critical' patch for shortcut bug". BBC News. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Encyclopedia entry: Exploit:Win32/CplLnk.A". Microsoft. Jul 16, 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Wisniewski, Chester (2010-07-27). "AskChet, Episode 2, July 26, 2010 - Sophos security news". SophosLabs. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Wisniewski, Chester (2010-07-26). "Shortcut exploit still quiet - Keep your fingers crossed". Sophos. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Mills, Elinor (2010-07-21). "Details of the first-ever control system malware (FAQ)". CNET. Retrieved 21 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "SIMATIC WinCC / SIMATIC PCS 7: Information concerning Malware / Virus / Trojan". Siemens. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 22 July 2010. malware (trojan) which affects the visualization system WinCC SCADA. 
  8. ^ "Siemens: Stuxnet worm hit industrial systems". Retrieved 16 September 2010. [permanent dead link]

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