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  3. Microsoft Excel Macro Validation Uninitialized Variable Manipulation Vulnerability

Microsoft Excel Macro Validation Uninitialized Variable Manipulation Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

January 15, 2008

Description

Microsoft Excel is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker may exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code in the context of the affected application. Failed exploit attempts will likely result in denial-of-service conditions.

Technologies Affected

  • 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 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Excel 2003 SP3
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP1
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP3
  • Microsoft Office 2002
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP1
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP3
  • Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office XP
  • Microsoft Office XP SP1
  • Microsoft Office XP SP2
  • Microsoft Office XP SP3

Recommendations

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

Malicious media files may be sent via email, hosted on a web page, or sent through instant messaging or other means. Never accept or open any files that originate from an untrusted source.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

Web users should be cautious about following links to sites that are provided by unfamiliar or suspicious sources. Filtering HTML from emails may help remove a possible vector for transmitting malicious links to users.

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 exploits of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.

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

To reduce the impact of latent vulnerabilities, always run nonadministrative software as an unprivileged user with minimal access rights.
The vendor released updates to address this issue. Please see the references for more information.

Credits

Mike Scott of SAIC and Matt Richard of VeriSign are credited with the discovery of this issue.
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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