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  Microsoft Office Publisher buffer overflow

  ZDI-10-069: Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

From:MICROSOFT <secure_(at)_microsoft.com>
Date:16.04.2010
Subject:Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-023 - Important Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Publisher Could Allow Remote Code Execution (981160)

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-023 - Important
Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Publisher Could Allow Remote Code Execution (981160)
Published: April 13, 2010

Version: 1.0
General Information
Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office Publisher that could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Publisher file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Important for supported versions of Microsoft Office Publisher 2002, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, and Microsoft Office Publisher 2007. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that Microsoft Office Publisher opens specially crafted Publisher files. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

Known Issues. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 981160 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when installing this security update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues. When currently known issues and recommended solutions pertain only to specific releases of this software, this article provides links to further articles.
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Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software
Office Suite and Other Software Component Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Bulletins Replaced by this Update

Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3


Microsoft Office Publisher 2002 Service Pack 3
(KB980466)


Remote Code Execution


Important


MS08-027

Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3


Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 Service Pack 3
(KB980469)


Remote Code Execution


Important


MS08-027

2007 Microsoft Office System Service Pack 1


Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Service Pack 1
(KB980470)


Remote Code Execution


Important


MS09-030

2007 Microsoft Office System Service Pack 2


Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Service Pack 2
(KB980470)


Remote Code Execution


Important


None
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Where are the file information details?
Refer to the reference tables in the Security Update Deployment section for the location of the file information details.

I use Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1. Are any additional security features included in this update?
Yes, as part of the servicing model for Microsoft Office 2007, when users of Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 1 install this update, their systems will be upgraded to security functionality that was initially released with Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2. All updates released after April 24, 2009 for Microsoft Office 2007 will include these security features, which were introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2. We have thoroughly tested this update, but as with all updates, we recommend that users perform testing appropriate to the environment and configuration of their systems.

The Office component discussed in this article is part of the Office Suite that I have installed on my system; however, I did not choose to install this specific component. Will I be offered this update?
Yes, if the version of the Office Suite installed on your system shipped with the component discussed in this bulletin, the system will be offered updates for it whether the component is installed or not. The detection logic used to scan for affected systems is designed to check for updates for all components that shipped with the particular Office Suite and offer the updates to a system. Users who choose not to apply an update for a component that is not installed, but is included in their version of the Office Suite, will not increase the security risk of that system. On the other hand, users who do choose to install the update will not have a negative impact on the security or performance of a system. For more information on this issue, please see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 830335.

Does the offer to update a non-vulnerable version of Microsoft Office constitute an issue in the Microsoft update mechanism?
No, the update mechanism is functioning correctly in that it detects a lower version of the files on the system than in the update package and thus, offers the update.

I am using an older release of the software discussed in this security bulletin. What should I do?
The affected software listed in this bulletin have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. For more information about the product lifecycle, visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Web site.

It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities. To determine the support lifecycle for your software release, see Select a Product for Lifecycle Information. For more information about service packs for these software releases, see Lifecycle Supported Service Packs.

Customers who require custom support for older software must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an Alliance, Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, visit the Microsoft Worldwide Information Web site, select the country in the Contact Information list, and then click Go to see a list of telephone numbers. When you call, ask to speak with the local Premier Support sales manager. For more information, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.
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Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the April bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.
Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-0479 Aggregate Severity Rating

Microsoft Office Publisher 2002 Service Pack 3


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 Service Pack 3


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Service Pack 1


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important

Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Service Pack 2


Important
Remote Code Execution


Important
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Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-0479

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that Microsoft Office Publisher opens Publisher files. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by creating a specially crafted Publisher file that could be included as an e-mail attachment, or hosted on a specially crafted or compromised Web site, and then convincing the user to open the specially crafted Publisher file.

If a user were logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less affected than users who operate with administrative user rights.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2010-0479.

Mitigating Factors for Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-0479

Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:


The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful a user must open an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.


An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.


In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s Web site, and then convince them to open the specially crafted Publisher file.


Microsoft Office Publisher 2002 and later versions prompt a user to Open, Save, or Cancel before opening a document. This is a mitigating factor because the vulnerability requires more than a single user action to complete the exploit.
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Workarounds for Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-0479

Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality:


Do not open Publisher files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources. This vulnerability could be exploited when a user opens a specially crafted file.
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FAQ for Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2010-0479

What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability exists in the file parsing code when Microsoft Office Publisher tries to open specially crafted Publisher files.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code as the logged-on user. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted Publisher file with Microsoft Office Publisher.

In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted Publisher file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file.

In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web site that contains a Publisher file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's site.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Systems where Microsoft Office Publisher is used, including workstations and terminal servers, are primarily at risk. Servers could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing this.

What does the update do?
This update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that Microsoft Office Publisher opens specially crafted Publisher files.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Other Information
Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:


Lionel d'Hauenens, working with TippingPoint’s Zero Day Initiative, for reporting the Microsoft Office Publisher File Conversion TextBox Processing Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2010-0479)
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Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)

To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections Web sites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Support


Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Security Support or 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates. For more information about available support options, see Microsoft Help and Support.


International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions


V1.0 (April 13, 2010): Bulletin published.

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