Public Vulnerability Reports

Microsoft Word Memory Corruption Vulnerability

12.08.08

BACKGROUND

Microsoft Word is the word processing application that is included with Microsoft Corp's Office productivity software suite. More information is available at the following website.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/default.aspx

DESCRIPTION

Remote exploitation of a memory corruption vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s Word could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

The vulnerability exists within the code responsible for parsing records in the Main stream of the Word file. By inserting a malformed record, it is possible to overwrite a function pointer with data from the file.

ANALYSIS

Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the user opening the file. To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker needs to convince a user to open a malicious file. Since this vulnerability allows an attacker to reliably overwrite a function pointer, exploitation is relatively trivial.

DETECTION

iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the following versions:

Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3
Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2
Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3

WORKAROUND

iDefense is currently unaware of any workarounds for this issue. Since the vulnerability occurs in the core module of Word, it's not possible to disable access to the vulnerable code without rendering Word unusable.

VENDOR RESPONSE

Microsoft Corp. has released a patch which addresses this issue. Information about downloadable vendor updates can be found by clicking on the URLs shown.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms08-042.mspx

CVE INFORMATION

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2008-2244 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for security problems.

DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

05/12/2008 Initial vendor notification
05/12/2008 Initial vendor reply
09/12/2008 Public disclosure

CREDIT

This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by Marsu.

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LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright © 2010 Verisign, Inc.

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