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  3. Microsoft Word Workspace Memory Corruption Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Microsoft Word Workspace Memory Corruption Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

October 9, 2007

Description

Microsoft Word is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker could exploit this issue by enticing a victim to open a malicious Word file. Successfully exploiting this issue would allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user. NOTE: Successful exploits of this issue may be hampered because Microsoft Office 2007 and Office 2003 SP3 will not open some older Office file formats, including Office for Macintosh documents. Exploits of this issue involve the Macintosh file format.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Word 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Word 2000 SP3
  • Microsoft Word 2000 SR1
  • Microsoft Word 2000 SR1a
  • Microsoft Word 2002
  • Microsoft Word 2002 SP1
  • Microsoft Word 2002 SP2
  • Microsoft Word 2002 SP3
  • Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac

Recommendations

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

To mitigate the impact of a successful exploit, run the affected application as a user with minimal access rights.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.

Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious or anomalous activity. This may help detect malicious actions that an attacker may take after successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in applications. Review all applicable logs regularly.

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

Users should never accept files from untrusted or unknown sources, because they may be malicious in nature. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown or questionable sources.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.

Since this issue may be leveraged to execute code, we recommend memory-protection schemes, such as nonexecutable stack/heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments. This tactic may complicate exploit attempts of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.
The vendor released an advisory and updates to address this issue. Please see the references for more information. NOTE (October 17, 2007): Microsoft has released further information regarding the update. After the update is applied, Word will still exit unexpectedly when the user opens a malformed document, but the vulnerability is no longer present so exploitation does not occur in such a case. The vendor has also provided information regarding stability issues stemming from the update. Please see MS07-060 for details.

Credits

Kun-Hao Liu of Information & Communication Security Technology Center is credited with 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.
Symantec, Symantec products, Symantec Security Response, and secure@symantec.com are registered trademarks of Symantec Corp. and/or affiliated companies in the United States and other countries. All other registered and unregistered trademarks represented in this document are the sole property of their respective companies/owners.

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