Microsoft Office Excel contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. Updates are available.
Microsoft Office Excel contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
The vulnerability exists due to errors in processing malformed objects contained within Excel documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious file. If the user views the file, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the user.
Microsoft has confirmed this vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
The following Microsoft products are affected:
Office Excel 2002 SP3 and prior Office 2004 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac
An attacker cannot exploit this vulnerability directly and instead must rely upon user interaction. The attacker must convince a user to view a malicious document, which is likely to be provided as an e-mail attachment or posted on a public website. The attacker may use social engineering to make documents more attractive to users or to convince them that the document originates from a trusted source.
Systems most at risk are end-user hosts on which users hold Administrator privileges. An exploit involving a user who holds elevated privileges could result in a complete system compromise.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-067
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If that user holds Administrator privileges, the attacker could take complete control over the system.
This vulnerability exists due to errors in processing malformed objects contained within Excel documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to open a malicious document using the vulnerable application. When opened, the document could cause memory corruption that could be leveraged by the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
Administrators are advised to apply the available software updates.
Users are advised not to open unsolicited e-mail attachments. Users should verify that attachments are safe before opening them.
Users are advised to run applications with the least privileges possible.
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.
The security vulnerability applies to the following combinations of products.
2002 (XP) Base, SP1, SP2, SP3
Office for Mac
2004 Base | 2008 Base
XP (2002) Base, SP1, SP2, SP3
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.