Additional technical information is available for the Microsoft Office Web Components memory allocation vulnerability.
Microsoft Office Web Components contain a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
The vulnerability is due to a flaw with the loading and unloading of a control in Microsoft Office Web Components. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious website. If the user views the site, the attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates that correct it.
The following applications are affected:
Microsoft Office XP SP3 and prior
Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 and prior
Microsoft Office XP Web Components SP3 and prior
Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components SP3 and prior
Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 Enterprise and Standard Edition SP3 and prior
Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2006 SP1
Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting 2006
Attackers cannot directly exploit this vulnerability and instead must rely on user interaction to accomplish an exploit. To convince users to visit malicious sites, attackers may send targeted e-mail messages with embedded links combined with text instructions. An attacker may also inject malicious content into public websites or compromised websites in the hopes that users may visit those sites, triggering the embedded exploits.
If an exploit is successful, the attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If that user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could execute arbitrary code to install malicious software or create additional user accounts on the system, resulting in a complete compromise.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-043
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If that user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could execute arbitrary code that could cause a complete system compromise.
The vulnerability is due to a flaw in Microsoft Office Web Components during the process of loading and unloading a control, 0002E543-0000-0000-C000-000000000046, which causes the control to be transferred to unallocated memory.
As a result, an unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious website that is designed to pass malicious input to the Office Web Components ActiveX control. The processing of the website could trigger an error condition that could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate software updates.
Administrators may consider configuring Internet Explorer to prompt users before running Active Scripting or ActiveX controls by setting the Internet and Local Intranet security zone settings to High. Alternately, administrators could disable Active Scripting and ActiveX controls in these security zones.
Administrators are advised to prevent the Office Web Component ActiveX control from running in Internet Explorer by setting the kill bit on the following CLSIDs:
Administrators are advised to unregister the Office Web Components owc10.dll and owc11.dll libraries.
Users are advised not to visit websites or follow links that have suspicious characteristics or cannot be verified as safe.
Users are advised to run applications with the least necessary privileges.
Administrators are advised to implement an intrusion prevention system (IPS) or intrusion detection system (IDS) to help detect and prevent attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.
Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.
Microsoft customers can obtain updates directly by using the links in the security bulletin. These updates are also distributed by Windows automatic update features and available on the Windows Update website. Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server, and System Center Configuration Manager can assist administrators in deploying software updates.
Version 1, August 11, 2009, 1:48 PM: Microsoft Office Web Components contain a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. Updates are available.
The security vulnerability applies to the following combinations of products.
2004 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3 | 2006 Base, SP1
XP (2002) Base, SP1, SP2, SP3 | 2003 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3, Multilingual User Interface Pack
Office Small Business Accounting
Office Web Components (OWC)
10 (Office XP) Base | 11 (Office 2003) Base
Alerts and bulletins on the Cisco Security Intelligence Operations Portal are highlighted by analysts in the
Cisco Threat Operations Center and represent a subset of the comprehensive content that is available through Cisco Security IntelliShield Alert Manager Service.
This customizable threat and vulnerability alert service provides security staff with access to timely, accurate, and credible information about threats and vulnerabilities that may affect their environment.
The urgency and severity ratings of this alert are not tailored to individual users; users may value alerts differently based upon their network configurations and circumstances. THE ALERT, AND INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN, ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" BASIS AND DO NOT IMPLY ANY KIND OF GUARANTEE OR WARRANTY, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR USE. YOUR USE OF THE ALERT, AND INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN, OR MATERIALS LINKED FROM THE ALERT, IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. INFORMATION IN THIS ALERT AND ANY RELATED COMMUNICATIONS IS BASED ON OUR KNOWLEDGE AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. CISCO RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CHANGE OR UPDATE ALERTS AT ANY TIME.