CIS CYBER SECURITY ADVISORIES

MS-ISAC CYBER SECURITY ADVISORY NUMBER:
2014-083

DATE(S) ISSUED:
10/14/2014

SUBJECT:
Vulnerability in Microsoft Word and Office Web Apps Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS14-061)

OVERVIEW:

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Office which could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:
There are currently no reports of this vulnerability being exploited in the wild.

SYSTEM AFFECTED:

  • Microsoft Office 2007 SP3
  • Microsoft Office 2010 32-bit SP1 and SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2010 64-bit SP1 and SP2
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 SP1 and SP2
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010 SP1 and SP2
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack SP3

RISK:
Government:

  • Large and medium government entities: High
  • Small government entities: High

Businesses:

  • Large and medium business entities: High
  • Small business entities: High

Home users: High

TECHNICAL SUMMARY:
One memory corruption vulnerability has been privately reported to Microsoft that could allow for remote code execution. This vulnerability is due to Microsoft Word not properly handling objects in memory while parsing specially crafted Office files. The vulnerability can be can be exploited via email or through the web. In the email-based scenario, the user would have to open the specially crafted file as an email attachment. In the web based scenario, a user would have to open the specially crafted file that is hosted on a website. The attacker-supplied code will execute if the user opens the file using Microsoft Office.

Successful exploitation could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply appropriate patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.

 

REFERENCES:
Microsoft:
https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-061

CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-4117