Additional technical information that describes the Microsoft Office exception handling memory corruption vulnerability is available.
Microsoft Office contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
The vulnerability is due to a parsing error that may occur when opening Microsoft Office documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by convincing the user to view a malicious document. If successful, the attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of a targeted user.
Microsoft has confirmed the vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
The following Microsoft products are affected:
Office XP SP3 and prior
Office 2003 SP3 and prior
Office 2007 SP2 and prior
Office 2010 (32-bit editions)
Office 2010 (64-bit editions)
Office 2004 for Mac
Office 2008 for Mac
Office for Mac 2011
Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
To exploit the vulnerability, the attacker must convince a targeted user to open a malicious document. The attacker may provide a document to the targeted user as an attachment to an e-mail message or by convincing a user to follow a link to a document that is hosted on a remote file share or website. When viewed, the document could trigger the vulnerability and execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the targeted user.
Systems most at risk are those where users run applications with elevated privileges. On such a system, the attacker could execute code resulting in a complete system compromise.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS10-087
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on an affected system with the privileges of the targeted user. If that user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could gain complete control over the system.
The vulnerability is due to improper parsing of Microsoft Office documents. When a parsing error occurs, the application may free a memory pointer, then later access the freed memory, resulting in a memory error.
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by convincing a targeted user to open a malicious Microsoft Office document with a crafted Office Art record. Processing the crafted document could cause memory corruption. The attacker could take advantage of the memory corruption to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the targeted user.
Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate software 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.
Users may consider applying the Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) to safely open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files from suspicious or unrecognized sources on systems that are running Microsoft Office 2003 or Office 2007.
Administrators are advised to monitor critical systems.
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, November 9, 2010, 1:34 PM: Microsoft Office contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of a targeted user. Updates are available.
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