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 is due to errors in processing DbOrParamQry records when opening Excel documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious document. If the user opens the document, 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.
The following Microsoft products are affected:
Office Excel 2002 SP3 and prior Office 2004 for Mac Office 2008 for Mac Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
To exploit the vulnerability, an attacker must be able to convince a user to open a malicious document on a vulnerable system. Attackers may provide documents to users as attachments to e-mail messages or by providing links to documents posted on public websites via e-mail or instant messages. Attackers may use social engineering techniques in an attempt to convince users to open a provided document.
If an exploit is successful, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the user. On systems that grant users elevated privileges, the attacker could execute code to gain complete control over the system. On systems that restrict user privileges, an exploit may have a limited impact because any executed code would also run in a restricted security context.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS10-017
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If the user holds privileges equivalent to the Administrator account, the attacker could gain complete control over the system.
The vulnerability is due to errors in processing DbOrParamQry records when opening Excel documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by convincing a user to view a document containing a malicious DbOrParamQry record. When the record is processed, the document 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 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 2003 or 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.
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
Excel for Mac
2004 Base | 2008 Base
Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
1.0 .0, .1, .2
XP (2002) Base, SP1, SP2, SP3
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