@E 2 - this isn't part of the OS
It's an ActiveX component used to play video - just like the Flash or Real Media plugins.
The two scary things about this have already been mentioned:
1) The code cannot have ever worked as it must have always failed to pass the data correctly, therefore the path was never tested.
2) As it's a specific path, it's an edge case and therefore should have had an obvious 'whitebox' test.
It's also very silly to be doing this kind of code in simple C/C++. While there's nothing wrong with the language, the compiler doesn't protect you against silly typos.
In a strongly-typed language, the compiler will catch you attempting incorrect dereferencing by typo, while C/C++ will just let you do it and happily copy the wrong stuff to the wrong place.
However, you could use 'good' classes that do real checks on what's arriving (do I expect a pointer or a pointer to a pointer?).
Personally, I really like Delphi - it's how object-oriented should be, as you usually simply pass objects around. I know you're really passing pointers all the time but the compiler forces you to specifically say what you think you're passing. On top of that, it gives you the ability to check at runtime what a function really received, and react accordingly.
On the downside, it's Pascal - Begin and End gets old fast. Although that is the only downside I can think off off-hand.