CIS CYBERSECURITY ADVISORIES

MS-ISAC ADVISORY NUMBER:
2015-019

DATE(S) ISSUED:
03/02/2015

SUBJECT:
Vulnerability in Microsoft Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution

OVERVIEW:

A memory corruption vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Word that could allow for remote code execution. An attacker can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user. Failed exploit attempts will likely result in denial-of-service conditions.

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

At this time, CIS has not observed this attack being used in the wild.

SYSTEM AFFECTED:

  • Microsoft Word

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:

A memory corruption vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Word that could allow for remote code execution. Specifically, this issue exists in the line formatting functionality of Microsoft Word. To exploit this issue, an attacker would need to entice an unsuspecting user to view a specially crafted Word file. Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user. Failed exploit attempts will likely result in denial-of-service conditions.

Please note that there is currently no patch available for this vulnerability. We will update this advisory with additional information as soon as we receive it.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply the patch from Microsoft, as soon as one becomes available, 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:

ZeroDayInitiative:

http://www.zerodayinitiative.com/advisories/ZDI-15-052/