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  3. Microsoft Office Web Components ActiveX Control URL Parsing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Microsoft Office Web Components ActiveX Control URL Parsing Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Risk

High

Date Discovered

March 11, 2008

Description

Microsoft Office Web Components is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker may exploit this issue by enticing victims into opening a maliciously crafted HTML document. Successfully exploiting this issue allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the application using the ActiveX control (typically Internet Explorer). Failed exploit attempts will likely result in denial-of-service conditions.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Office Web Components 2000

Recommendations

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.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.

Attackers could exploit this vulnerability by enticing a user to visit a malicious website. Do not follow links provided by sources of questionable integrity.

Set web browser security to disable the execution of script code or active content.

Since a successful exploit of this issue allows malicious code to execute in web clients, consider disabling support for script code and active content within the client browser. Note that this mitigation tactic might adversely affect legitimate websites that rely on the execution of browser-based script code.

Do not open email messages from unknown or untrusted individuals.

Attackers could exploit this vulnerability through HTML email messages. Never accept any email from sources of questionable integrity.
Microsoft has released an advisory and fixes to address this issue. Please see the references for more information.

Credits

Chris Ries of VigilantMinds Inc. and Xiaohui of NCNIPC are 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.
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