Microsoft Excel File Handler Buffer Overflow Vulnerability



Date Discovered

October 12, 2004


Microsoft Excel is reported prone to an buffer overflow vulnerability. The issue presents itself when the vulnerable software handles a malicious Excel file. Ultimately a remote attacker may exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code. Code execution will occur in the context of a user that is using a vulnerable version of Excel to view a malicious Excel spreadsheet.

Technologies Affected

  • Avaya DefinityOne Media Servers
  • Avaya IP600 Media Servers
  • Avaya Modular Messaging (MSS) 1.1.0
  • Avaya Modular Messaging (MSS) 2.0.0
  • Avaya S3400 Message Application Server
  • Avaya S8100 Media Servers
  • Microsoft Excel 2000
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SP3
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 SR1
  • Microsoft Excel 2001 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2002
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP1
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP2
  • Microsoft Excel v.X


Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
Avoid opening Excel spreadsheets that are received unexpectedly or that originate from a user of questionable integrity.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
Users should be wary of visiting websites of questionable integrity or following links provided by unfamiliar or untrusted sources.

Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
Users should perform all non-administrative tasks, such as opening Excel spreadsheets and browsing the web, as an unprivileged user with minimal access rights. This will limit the impact of this and other latent vulnerabilities.

Microsoft has released a security bulletin and fixes to address this vulnerability.



Discovery of this vulnerability is credited to Brett Moore <>.

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