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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-048 - Important

Vulnerability in OneNote Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2977201)

Published: August 12, 2014

Version: 1.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft OneNote. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened in an affected version of Microsoft OneNote. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights.

This security update is rated Important for all supported editions of Microsoft OneNote 2007. For more information, see the Affected and Non-Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the way that Microsoft OneNote parses specially crafted files. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability later in this bulletin.

Recommendation. Customers can configure automatic updating to check online for updates from Microsoft Update by using the Microsoft Update service. Customers who have automatic updating enabled and configured to check online for updates from Microsoft Update typically will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. Customers who have not enabled automatic updating need to check for updates from Microsoft Update and install this update manually. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871.

For administrators and enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually, Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity using update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service.

See also the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, later in this bulletin.

Knowledge Base Article

  • Knowledge Base Article: 2977201
  • File Information: Yes
  • SHA1/SHA2 hashes: Yes
  • Known issues: None

 

The following software has 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, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software 

Operating System

Maximum Security Impact

Aggregate Severity Rating

Updates Replaced

Microsoft Office Software

Microsoft OneNote 2007 Service Pack 3
(2596857)

Remote Code Execution

Important

950130 in MS08-055

 

Non-Affected Software

Microsoft Office Software

Microsoft OneNote Web App 2010 Service Pack 1

Microsoft OneNote Web App 2010 Service Pack 2

Microsoft OneNote 2010 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)

Microsoft OneNote 2010 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)

Microsoft OneNote Web App

Microsoft Office OneNote 2013 (32-bit editions)

Microsoft Office OneNote 2013 (64-bit editions)

 

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 has been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. For more information about the product lifecycle, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle website.

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 Service Pack Lifecycle Support Policy.

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 , Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, see the Microsoft Worldwide Information website, 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.

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 August bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software

Affected Software

OneNote Remote Code Execution Vulnerability - CVE-2014-2815

Aggregate Severity Rating

Microsoft Office Software

Microsoft OneNote 2007 Service Pack 3

Important 
Remote Code Execution

Important

 

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that Microsoft OneNote parses specially crafted files. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current 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.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2014-2815.

Mitigating Factors

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 email. For an attack to be successful a user must open an attachment that is sent in an email message.
  • In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a specially crafted Office file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites 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 view attacker controlled content. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to take action, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s website, and then convince them to open the specially crafted Office file. To get users to open the file, the attacker must convince users to click OK in the dialog box that appears when a user attempts to open the specially crafted Office file.
  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative 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.

Workarounds

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 OneNote files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources

    Do not open OneNote 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.

FAQ

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is a remote code execution vulnerability in the context of the current user.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability is caused when Microsoft OneNote fails to properly handle specially crafted OneNote files.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current 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? 
Exploitation of this vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft OneNote.

In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file in an affected version of Microsoft OneNote.

In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a file that is used to attempt to exploit the vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites 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 website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's site, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file in an affected version of Microsoft OneNote.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability? 
Systems where affected Microsoft Office 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 OneNote parses specially crafted files.

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

Several resources are available to help administrators deploy security updates. 

  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) lets administrators scan local and remote systems for missing security updates and common security misconfigurations. 
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Systems Management Server (SMS), and System Center Configuration Manager help administrators distribute security updates. 
  • The Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit aid in streamlining the testing and validation of Windows updates against installed applications. 

For information about these and other tools that are available, see Security Tools for IT Pros

Microsoft OneNote 2007 (all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software.

Security update file names

For Microsoft OneNote 2007:
onenote2007-kb2596857-fullfile-x86-glb.exe

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 912203

Restart requirement

In some cases, this update does not require a restart. If the required files are being used, this update will require a restart. If this behavior occurs, a message appears that advises you to restart.

To help reduce the chance that a restart will be required, stop all affected services and close all applications that may use the affected files prior to installing the security update. For more information about the reasons why you may be prompted to restart, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 887012.

Removal information

Use Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2596857

Registry key verification

Not applicable

 

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

  • Eduardo Prado, working with Beyond Security's SecuriTeam Secure Disclosure Program, for reporting the OneNote Remote Code Execution Vulnerability (CVE-2014-2815)

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 go to the active protections websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.

Support

How to obtain help and support for this security update

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 (August 12, 2014): Bulletin published.

Page generated 2014-08-07 16:59Z-07:00.
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