Additional technical information is available to address the Microsoft Office Word Rich Text Format data processing arbitrary code execution vulnerability.
Microsoft Office Word contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system.
The vulnerability is due to improper processing of documents. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to view a malicious image. If successful, the attacker could execute arbitrary code on the system.
Microsoft confirmed the vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
The following Microsoft applications are affected:
Microsoft Word 2003 SP3 and prior
Microsoft Word 2007 SP3 and prior
Microsoft Office for Mac 2008
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats SP3 and prior
To exploit the vulnerability, the attacker may provide a file to the user and persuade the user to open or execute the file by using misleading language or instructions.
The Cisco Applied Intelligence team has created an Applied Mitigation Bulletin to address vulnerabilities that Microsoft disclosed in the May 2012 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 May 2012
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS12-029
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the user. If the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could execute code that results in a complete system compromise.
The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of object definitions by the lexical analysis component of the affected software when the component analyzes control words in an RTF file.
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by crafting an RTF file with no terminating values and convincing a user to open a document or e-mail message that the contains malicious RTF content. When processed, the malicious content could cause the affected software to reuse a freed object in memory, resulting in memory corruption that the attacker could use to execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the user. If the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could completely compromise the system.
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.
Users are advised to read e-mail in plain text.
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 may consider using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) scan tool to identify common security misconfigurations and missing security updates on system endpoints.
Administrators are advised to monitor affected 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, May 8, 2012, 1:24 PM: Microsoft Office Word contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system. Updates are available.
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.