Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-114 - Critical

Security Update for Windows Journal to Address Remote Code Execution (3100213)

Published: November 10, 2015

Version: 1.0

This security update resolves a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Journal file. 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 Critical for all supported editions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, and for all supported non-Itanium editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. For more information, see the Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how Windows Journal parses Journal files. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Vulnerability Information section

For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3100213.

The following software versions or editions are affected. Versions or editions that are not listed 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.

Operating System

Maximum Security Impact

Aggregate Severity Rating

Updates Replaced*

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows 7

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

3069114 in MS15-098

*The Updates Replaced column shows only the latest update in any chain of superseded updates. For a comprehensive list of updates replaced, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog, search for the update KB number, and then view update details (updates replaced information is provided on the Package Details tab).

I am running one of the operating systems in the affected software table. Why am I not being offered the Journal update? 
The update is only offered to systems on which Windows Journal is installed.

Note On supported editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Journal is not installed by default. On this operating system, it is installed when the Desktop Experience feature is enabled. As a result, the update for Windows Journal only applies if Desktop Experience is enabled.

Note On supported editions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Journal is not installed by default. On these operating systems, it is installed when the Ink and Handwriting Services feature is enabled. As a result, the update for Windows Journal only applies if Ink and Handwriting Services is enabled.

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 November bulletin summary.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software

Affected Software

Windows Journal Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2015-6097

Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows 7

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3100213)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Journal Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2015-6097

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows when a specially crafted Journal file is opened in Windows Journal. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could cause arbitrary code to execute in the context of the current user. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take 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.

For an attack to be successful, the vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted Journal file with an affected version of Windows Journal. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted Journal file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file.

The update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how Windows Journal parses Journal files. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through coordinated vulnerability disclosure. At the time this security bulletin was originally issued, Microsoft was unaware of any attack attempting to exploit this vulnerability.

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.

Workarounds

The following workarounds may be helpful in your situation:

  • Do not open suspicious file attachments

    Do not open Windows Journal (.jnt) 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.

     

  • Remove the .jnt file type association

     
    Interactive Method:
    Note
     Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

    To remove the .jnt file type association using the interactive method, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, click jntfile, and then click the File menu and select Export.
    3. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type jntfile HKCR file association registry backup.reg and click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
    4. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.
    5. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Explorer, and then FileExts.
    6. Click .jnt and then click the File menu and select Export.
    7. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type .jnt HKCU file association registry backup.reg and then click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
    8. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.

     

    Using a Managed Script:
    Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

    To remove the .jnt file type association using an interactive, managed script, follow these steps:

    1. First make a backup copy of the registry keys using a managed deployment script with the following commands:
      Regedit.exe /e jntfile_HKCR_registry_backup.reg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\jntfile
      Regedit.exe /e jnt_HKCU_registry_backup.reg HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt
      
    2. Next save the following to a file with a .reg extension (e.g., Delete_jnt_file_association.reg):
      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
      [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\jntfile]
      [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt]
      
    3. Run the above registry script created in step 2 on the target machine with the following command:
      Regedit.exe /s Delete_jnt_file_association.reg
      

     

    Impact of workaround. Double-clicking a .jnt file will no longer launch journal.exe.

    How to undo the workaround:

    Restore the registry key by using Registry Editor to restore the settings saved in the .REG files.

     

  • Remove Windows Journal by disabling the Windows feature that installs it

    On Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
    2. Click Turn Windows Features on or off and then clear the check box for either Tablet PC Optional Components (Windows Vista systems) or Tablet PC Components (Windows 7 systems).
    3. Click OK.

     

    Impact of workaround. Windows Journal is removed from the system.

    How to undo the workaround:

    To reinstall Windows Journal on Windows Vista or Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
    2. Click Turn Windows Features on or off and then select the check box for either Tablet PC Optional Components (Windows Vista systems) or Tablet PC Components (Windows 7 systems).
    3. Click OK.

     

  • Deny access to Journal.exe

    To deny access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

    > takeown.exe /f "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe"
    > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /deny everyone:(F)
    

     

    Impact of workaround. Windows Journal becomes inaccessible.

    How to undo the workaround:

    To reinstate access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

    > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /remove:d everyone
    

For Security Update Deployment information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article referenced here in the Executive Summary.

Microsoft recognizes the efforts of those in the security community who help us protect customers through coordinated vulnerability disclosure. See Acknowledgments for more information.

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.

  • V1.0 (November 10, 2015): Bulletin published.

Page generated 2015-11-24 08:27-08:00.
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