Microsoft Word contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on a targeted system. Updates are available.
A vulnerability in the Word component of Microsoft Office could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code.
The vulnerability is due to improper memory operations performed by the affected software when handling crafted Microsoft Office documents. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by providing a crafted file designed to submit malicious input to the affected software and persuade a user to open the file or follow a crafted link. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could achieve a complete compromise of the targeted system.
Microsoft has confirmed the vulnerability in a security bulletin and released software updates.
The following Microsoft products are affected:
Microsoft Word 2003 SP3
Microsoft Office 2007 SP3
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack SP3
Microsoft Word Viewer
To exploit the vulnerability, the attacker may provide a link that directs a user to a malicious site or provide a crafted file to the the user, which is intended to submit malicious input to the affected software. The attacker could use misleading language or instructions to persuade the user to follow the provided link or open the provided file.
Microsoft has resolved the vulnerability by correcting how Microsoft Word processes .doc and .dot files.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS13-072
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could completely compromise the targeted system.
The vulnerability is due to improper memory operations performed by the affected software when handling crafted Microsoft Office documents.
An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit the vulnerability by providing a crafted .doc or .dot file, designed to submit malicious input to the affected software, to a user and persuade the user to open the file or follow a crafted link. When the affected software processes the malicious file or link, a memory corruption error may occur that the attacker could use to execute arbitrary code. A successful exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user. If the user holds elevated privileges, the attacker could achieve a complete compromise of the targeted system.
Administrators are advised to apply the appropriate updates.
Administrators are advised to allow only trusted users to have network access.
Administrators are advised to implement an intrusion prevention system (IPS) or intrusion detection system (IDS) to help detect and prevent attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability.
Users are advised not to open email messages from suspicious or unrecognized sources. If users cannot verify that links or attachments included in email messages are safe, they are advised not to open them.
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 Microsoft Update service. 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.
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats
Original Release SP3
Microsoft Office Word Viewer
2003 Base, SP1, SP2, SP3
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