Products & Services
Support

Product Categories


Popular Downloads


Manage Software

How to Buy

For Home

Linksys Products Store
Linksys is now part of Belkin
Products for everyone

All Ordering Options

Training & Events Partners
Guest

Vulnerability Alert

Microsoft Word Arbitrary Code Execution Vulnerability

 
Threat Type:CWE-94: Code Injection
IntelliShield ID:19319
Version:2
First Published:2009 November 10 19:02 GMT
Last Published:2009 November 11 15:15 GMT
Port: Not available
CVE:CVE-2009-3135
BugTraq ID:36950
Urgency:Unlikely Use
Credibility:Confirmed
Severity:Moderate Damage
CVSS Base:9.3 CVSS Calculator
CVSS Version 2.0
CVSS Temporal:6.9
 
Version Summary:

Additional technical information is available to describe the Microsoft Word arbitrary code execution vulnerability.

 
 
Description

Microsoft Word contains a vulnerability that can allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.?

The vulnerability exists because Word does not properly handle malformed documents.? An unauthenticated, remote attacker can exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to open a malicious Word document.? If the user opens the file, 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.

 
Warning Indicators

The following Microsoft products are affected:

  • Word 2002 SP3 and prior
  • Word 2003 SP3 and prior
  • Office for Mac 2004
  • Office for Mac 2008
  • Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
  • Office Word Viewer 2003 SP3 and prior
 
IntelliShield Analysis

To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must convince a user to open a malicious document.? The attacker may deliver the file to the user through a website or as an attachment to an e-mail message.? The attacker cannot force the user to view the file and will likely employ social engineering techniques in an attempt to convince the user to it.? If the user opens the file, the attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.

Systems that restrict user privileges, or those with built-in user privilege separation features such as Windows Vista, may be at less risk in the event of an exploit because any code execution would occur with limited privileges.? However, if the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could execute code that results in a complete system compromise.

The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created an Applied Mitigation Bulletin to address vulnerabilities that Microsoft disclosed in the November 2009 security bulletin release.? This Cisco bulletin, which assists administrators in identifying or mitigating these vulnerabilities using Cisco devices, is available at the following link: Cisco Applied Mitigation Bulletin: Microsoft Security Bulletin Release for November 2009

Microsoft has corrected this vulnerability by improving how Word handles malformed files.

 
Vendor Announcements

Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-068

 
Impact

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 code resulting in a complete system compromise.

 
Technical Information

The vulnerability exists when Microsoft Word processes File Information Block (FIB) structures in Word documents.? An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by crafting a Word document that contains a malicious FIB structure and convincing a user to open it.? Processing the crafted document could cause a stack-based buffer overflow, which the attacker could leverage to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.

 
Safeguards

Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.

Users are advised not to open e-mail messages from suspicious or unrecognized sources.? If users cannot verify that links or attachments included in e-mail messages are safe, they are advised not to open them.

Administrators are advised to use an unprivileged account for routine activities.

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.

Users may consider applying the Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) to safely open Word files from suspicious or unrecognized sources on systems that are running Microsoft Office 2003 or Office 2007.

Administrators should consider disabling preview directory browsing modes.? In some cases, this preview mode may process files in ways similar to opening the file, and may trigger an exploit through a malicious file in a directory or file share.

Administrators may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.

 
Patches/Software

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.


Signatures
 
Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) 6.0
Signature IDSignature NameReleaseLatest Release Date
21979/0Microsoft Office Word Document Malformed RecordS4722010 Feb 23 
 
Alert History
 

Version 1, November 10, 2009, 2:02 PM: Microsoft Word contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.? Updates are available.



Product Sets
 
The security vulnerability applies to the following combinations of products.

Primary Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3
Microsoft, Inc.Office for Mac 2004 Base | 2008 Base
Microsoft, Inc.Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0 .0, .1, .2
Microsoft, Inc.Word XP Base | 2003 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3

Associated Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Office XP (2002) Base, SP1, SP2, SP3 | 2003 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3, Multilingual User Interface Pack




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.


LEGAL DISCLAIMER
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.
Powered by  IntelliShield