Microsoft Windows contains a vulnerability that could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on an affected system.
This vulnerability is due to errors in handling metadata in MP3 audio files. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to open a malicious audio file. 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 that correct it.
Indicators of Compromise
The following Microsoft systems are vulnerable:
Windows 2000 SP4 and prior Windows XP SP3 and prior
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Vista SP2 and prior
Windows Vista x64 Edition SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems SP2 and prior
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems SP2 and prior
The following Microsoft applications are affected:
Windows Media Format SDK version 9.0
Windows Media Format SDK version 9.5
Windows Media Format SDK x64 Edition version 9.5
Windows Media Format SDK version 11
Microsoft Media Foundation
This vulnerability is due to errors in handling metadata in MP3 audio files. The Windows Media Format Runtime wmvcore.dll component fails to properly process malicious metadata. An unauthenticated, remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability by convincing a user to open a malicious MP3 file. The processing of the file could trigger an error condition that the attacker could use to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user.
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker must convince a user to open a malicious MP3 audio file. Attackers may distribute files over P2P file-sharing networks or convince users to download files from malicious websites. Attackers may use social engineering in an attempt to convince users that the file comes from a trusted source. Because audio files are not an executable file type, users may be more likely to open provided files because they are perceived to be safe.
Systems most at risk are end-user host systems on which users run applications with elevated privileges. An exploit on a system where the user holds Administrator privileges could result in a complete system compromise. Systems such as Windows Vista with built-in privilege separation or Windows Server systems acting as terminal servers on which users typically hold restricted privileges are less at risk.
Administrators are advised to apply the available software updates.
Administrators may consider restricting access to the wmvcore.dll component.
Users are advised not to visit websites or follow links that have suspicious characteristics or cannot be verified as safe.
Users are advised not to open media files from suspicious or unrecognized sources. If users cannot verify that media files are safe, they are advised not to open them.
Users are advised to run applications with the least necessary privileges.
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 has released a security bulletin at the following link: MS09-047
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.
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Cisco Multivendor Vulnerability Alerts respond to vulnerabilities identified in third-party vendors' products. These alerts contain information compiled from diverse sources and provide comprehensive technical descriptions, objective analytical assessments, workarounds and practical safeguards, and links to vendor advisories and patches.