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  3. Microsoft Publisher (CVE-2010-3954) Memory Corruption Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Microsoft Publisher (CVE-2010-3954) Memory Corruption Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

December 14, 2010


Microsoft Publisher is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker can exploit this issue by enticing an unsuspecting user into opening a specially crafted Publisher file. Successfully exploiting this issue allows attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user. Failed exploit attempts will result in a denial-of-service condition.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Publisher 2002
  • Microsoft Publisher 2002 SP3
  • Microsoft Publisher 2003
  • Microsoft Publisher 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Publisher 2003 SP3
  • Microsoft Publisher 2010
  • Microsoft Publisher 2010 (32 bit)
  • Microsoft Publisher 2010 (64 bit)


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 released an advisory and updates. Please see the references for more information.


Chaouki Bekrar of VUPEN Vulnerability Research Team
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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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