December 9, 2008
Microsoft Word is prone to a heap-based memory-corruption vulnerability. An attacker can exploit this issue by sending a specially crafted Word file to an unsuspecting user and enticing them to open it with a vulnerable application. A successful exploit will allow attackers to execute arbitrary code within the context of the user running the affected application.
- Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac
- Microsoft Office Word Viewer
- Microsoft Word 2000 SP3
- Microsoft Word 2002 SP3
Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To mitigate the impact of a successful exploit, run the affected application as a user with minimal access rights.
Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious or anomalous activity. This may help detect malicious actions that an attacker may take after successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in applications. Review all applicable logs regularly.
Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
Never accept files from untrusted or unknown sources, because they may be malicious in nature. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown or questionable sources.
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 exploit attempts of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.
The vendor has released an advisory and updates to address this issue. Please see the referenced advisory for details.
Ricardo Narvaja of Core Security Technologies
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