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Microsoft Vulnerability Research Advisory MSVR11-014

Vulnerability in Wireshark Allows For Arbitrary Script Execution

Published: November 15, 2011

Version: 1.0

Overview

Executive Summary

Microsoft is providing notification of the discovery and remediation of a vulnerability affecting Wireshark version 1.6.1 and earlier. Microsoft discovered and disclosed the vulnerability under coordinated vulnerability disclosure to the affected vendor, Wireshark. Wireshark has remediated the vulnerability in their software.

A vulnerability exists in the way that Wireshark handles opening of PCAP and CAP files that could allow an attacker to execute an arbitrary script. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute a script with the same user rights as the logged-on user. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Microsoft Vulnerability Research reported this issue to and coordinated with Wireshark to ensure remediation of this issue. The vulnerability has been assigned the entry CVE-2011-3360, in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list. For more information, including information about updates from Wireshark, see the Wireshark download page.

Mitigating Factors

  • The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful, a user must open an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.
  • In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a specially crafted file that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites 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 visit these Web sites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker’s Web site, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file.
  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. 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.

Advisory Details

Purpose and Recommendation

Purpose of Advisory: To notify users of a vulnerability and its remediation.

Advisory Status: Advisory published.

Recommendation: Review the Suggested Actions section and configure as appropriate.

Issue References

For more information about this issue, see the following references:

ReferenceIdentification
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures CVE-2011-3360

Affected and Non-Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software:

Affected Software
Wireshark 1.6.1 and earlier
Non-Affected Software
Wireshark 1.6.2

What is the scope of this advisory? 
This advisory is part of a coordinated release with affected vendors to inform customers of a security issue that may affect their systems.

Is this a security vulnerability that requires Microsoft to issue a security update? 
No. This vulnerability has been fixed via an update from the affected third-party vendors. The update remediates the software listed in the table, Affected Software.

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is an arbitrary script execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could execute a script with the same user rights as the logged-on user. 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.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability exists in the way that Wireshark opens PCAP and CAP files.

What might an attacker use this vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as a logged-on user. If the user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by tricking a user into opening a specially crafted file with an affected version of Wireshark. Typically, these specially crafted files are delivered via social engineering techniques in e-mail, instant messaging, or via download links on Web sites. This vulnerability cannot be exploited without user interaction.

Download and use Wireshark version 1.6.2 or later from the Wireshark download page.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following:

Microsoft Vulnerability Research

Microsoft Vulnerability Research (MSVR) is a program specifically designed to help improve the security ecosystem as a whole. Our goal is to share our collective experience in dealing with security vulnerabilities with the greater security community and by doing so foster positive change. For more information about the MSVR program, please see, Microsoft Vulnerability Research.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this advisory 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 (November 15, 2011): Advisory published.

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