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Vulnerability Alert

Microsoft Office Excel XLSX File Parsing Code Execution Vulnerability

 
Threat Type:CWE-94: Code Injection
IntelliShield ID:20040
Version:2
First Published:2010 March 09 18:47 GMT
Last Published:2010 March 10 14:25 GMT
Port: Not available
CVE:CVE-2010-0263
BugTraq ID:38554
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 related to the Office Excel XLSX file parsing vulnerability.

 
 
Description

Microsoft Office Excel contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.

The vulnerability is due to errors in processing malformed Microsoft Office Open XML Spreadsheet (.xlsx) files.  The XLSX format was introduced in Office 2007, although it can be read by earlier versions of Office through the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack.  An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious 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.

 
Warning Indicators

The following Microsoft products are affected:

  • Office Excel 2007 SP2 and prior
  • Office Excel Viewer 2007 SP2 and prior
  • Office 2008 for Mac
  • Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
  • Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats SP2 and prior
  • Sharepoint Portal Server 2007 (32-bit) SP2 and prior
  • Sharepoint Portal Server 2007 (64-bit) SP2 and prior
 
IntelliShield Analysis

In order to exploit the vulnerability, an attacker must be able to convince a user to view a malicious document within Excel.  The attacker may provide documents to the user as an attachment to an e-mail message or by providing links in e-mail or instant messages.  An attacker may also use social engineering techniques in an attempt to convince users to open a provided document.

An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.  Systems that grant users elevated privileges are at greatest risk, as any code execution would occur in a privileged security context, potentially allowing the attacker to take complete control over the system.

The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created an Applied Mitigation Bulletin to address vulnerabilities that Microsoft disclosed in the March 2010 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 March 2010

 
Vendor Announcements

Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS10-017

 
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 arbitrary code resulting in a complete compromise.

 
Technical Information

The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of document archive headers when the affected software processes Microsoft .xlsx files.  The .xlsx file is a ZIP archive consisting of files that define the Open XML document.  An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by including a malicious .xml file in the .xlsx file archive and then convincing a user to view the malicious document.  The processing of malformed archive header fields could result in an uninitialized memory pointer, which an attacker could use to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.

 
Safeguards

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.

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

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
24579/0MS Office Excel XLSX File Parsing Code ExecutionS4762010 Mar 09 
24579/1MS Office Excel XLSX File Parsing Code ExecutionS5042010 Jul 29 
 
Alert History
 
Version 1, March 9, 2010, 1:47 PM: Microsoft Office Excel contains a vulnerability that allows an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.  Updates are available.


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

Primary Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Excel 2007 Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats Original Release Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2007 Base, SP1, SP2
Microsoft, Inc.Office for Mac 2008 Base
Microsoft, Inc.Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0 .0, .1, .2
Microsoft, Inc.SharePoint Portal Server 2007 (32-bit) Base, SP1, SP2 | 2007 (64-bit) Base, SP1, SP2

Associated Products:
Microsoft, Inc.Office 2007 Base, SP1, SP2




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