Microsoft Office Malformed GIF File Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

July 11, 2006


Microsoft Office is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability when handling a malformed GIF file. The issue occurs when an Office application such as Excel, Word, or PowerPoint tries to open a malformed GIF file. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to corrupt memory and subsequently execute malicious code in the context of the user running the affected application.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Office 2000
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Chinese Version
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Japanese Version
  • Microsoft Office 2000 Korean Version
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP1
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2000 SP3
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP1
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP3
  • Microsoft Office XP
  • Microsoft Office XP SP1
  • Microsoft Office XP SP2
  • Microsoft Office XP SP3
  • Microsoft OneNote 2003
  • Microsoft Project 2000
  • Microsoft Project 2002
  • Microsoft Project 2002 SP1
  • Microsoft Project 2003 SP1
  • Microsoft Project 2003


Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
Execute all software as a user with minimal privileges. Use additional precautions such as restrictive environments to insulate software that may potentially handle malicious content.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity. This includes but is not limited to requests that include NOP sleds and unexplained incoming and outgoing traffic. This may indicate exploitation attempts or activity that results from successful exploitation.

Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
A user must open a malicious file with a vulnerable application to trigger this issue. Never use critical computers to handle files of questionable origin and integrity.

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 exploitation of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.

The vendor has released an advisory to address this issue in supported versions of affected software.



NSFocus Corporation is credited with the discovery of this vulnerability.

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