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Microsoft Excel Malformed Range Memory Corruption Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

December 8, 2005

Description

Microsoft Excel is susceptible to a remote code-execution vulnerability. This issue was originally disclosed through an eBay auction that has since been terminated. This issue is due to the application's failure to properly bounds-check user-supplied input data in the 'Named Range' definition in Excel data files. This results in the corruption of critical memory sections, allowing code execution.

Technologies Affected

  • Avaya Modular Messaging (MAS) 3.0.0
  • Microsoft Excel 2000
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SP3
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SR1
  • Microsoft Excel 2002
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP1
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP2
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP3
  • Microsoft Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2003 SP1
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 95
  • Microsoft Excel 97
  • Microsoft Excel 97 SR1
  • Microsoft Excel 97 SR2
  • Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003
  • Microsoft Excel x for Mac
  • Nortel Networks Enterprise Network Management System
  • Nortel Networks IP softphone 2050
  • Nortel Networks MCS 5100 3.0.0
  • Nortel Networks MCS 5200 3.0.0
  • Nortel Networks Optivity Telephony Manager (OTM)

Recommendations

Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.

Successful exploitation of this vulnerability requires that the target user open a malicious '.xls' file. Do not accept such files from untrusted sources.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.

Any code that is executed would run with the privileges of the user who opened the document. Do not use applications such as this on critical hosts. Ensure that users are logged in as accounts with minimal privileges. This may limit the immediate impact of a successful attack.
Microsoft has released fixes to address this vulnerability in supported versions of the affected software. Please see the referenced vendor advisories for further information.

Credits

Discovery is credited to 'fearwall'. Microsoft also credits FelicioX and Peter Winter-Smith for the discovery of this vulnerability.
Copyright © Symantec Corporation.
Permission to redistribute this alert electronically is granted as long as it is not edited in any way unless authorized by Symantec Security Response. Reprinting the whole or part of this alert in any medium other than electronically requires permission from secure@symantec.com.

Disclaimer
The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.
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