Date Discovered December 9, 2008
Description Microsoft Excel is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability.
Attackers may exploit this issue by enticing victims into opening a maliciously crafted Excel file.
Successful exploits may allow attackers to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running the application.
- Microsoft Excel 2000 SP3
- Microsoft Excel 2002 SP3
- Microsoft Excel 2003 SP3
- Microsoft Excel 2007
- Microsoft Excel 2007 SP1
- Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac
- Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
- Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack 2007
- Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack 2007 SP1
- Microsoft Office Excel Viewer
- Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003
- Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003 SP3
- Microsoft Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
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 accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources. To reduce the likelihood of successful exploits, never handle files that originate from unfamiliar or untrusted sources.
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.
Microsoft has released a security bulletin along with fixes that address this vulnerability.
Update (January 28, 2009): Users running Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Service Pack 1 are required to install update package (KB958437) and are also required to install the update for Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats (KB958439). Please see the referenced advisory for more information.
Credits Claes M Nyberg
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