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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS14-043 - Critical

Vulnerability in Windows Media Center Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2978742)

Published: August 12, 2014

Version: 1.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file that invokes Windows Media Center resources. 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 Critical for all supported editions of Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista, all supported editions of Windows 7 except Starter and Home Basic editions, Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8 Professional edition, and Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8.1 Professional edition. For more information, see the Affected and Non-Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how Component Object Model (COM) objects are handled in memory. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability later in this bulletin.

Recommendation. Most customers have automatic updating enabled and will not need to take any action because this security update will be downloaded and installed automatically. For information about specific configuration options in automatic updating, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871. For customers who do not have automatic updating enabled, the steps in Turn automatic updating on or off can be used to enable automatic updating.

For administrators and enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually (including customers who have not enabled automatic updating), Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately Microsoft recommends that customers evaluate whether to apply the security update to the affected systems using update management software, or by checking for updates using the Microsoft Update service. The updates are also available via the download links in the Affected Software table later in this bulletin.

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

Knowledge Base Article

  • Knowledge Base Article: 2978742
  • 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

Component

Maximum Security Impact

Aggregate Severity Rating

Updates Replaced

Windows 7

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(all editions except Starter and Home Basic editions)
(2978742)

Not applicable

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(all editions except Starter and Home Basic editions)
(2978742)

Not applicable

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(Professional edition only)

Windows Media Center
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(Professional edition only)

Windows Media Center
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(Professional edition only)

Windows Media Center [1]
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(Professional edition only)

Windows Media Center [1]
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

[1]This update is for systems that have the 2919355 update installed. See the Update FAQ for more information.

 

Affected Software 

Other Software

Maximum Security Impact

Aggregate Severity Rating

Updates Replaced

Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (32-bit editions) [2]
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (64-bit editions) [2]
(2978742)

Remote Code Execution

Critical

None

[2]Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista is available only as an optional component on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) installations of the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista.

 

Non-Affected Software

Operating System

Windows Vista Service Pack 2

Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(Starter and Home Basic editions only)

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(Starter and Home Basic editions only)

Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 2

Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(excluding Professional edition)

Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(excluding Professional edition only)

Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(excluding Professional edition)

Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(excluding Professional edition)

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

Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows RT

Windows RT 8.1

Server Core installation option

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

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

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

Windows Server 2012 (Server Core installation)

Windows Server 2012 R2 (Server Core installation)

 

I am running Windows 8.1. Why am I not being offered this update? 
To be offered any security updates on Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Update (2919355) must be installed on the system.  For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2919355.

For Windows 8.1 are there any prerequisites for this update? 
Yes. Customers running Windows 8.1 must first install Windows 8.1 Update (2919355) released in April, 2014 before this update can be installed. For more information about the prerequisite update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2919355.

What is the Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista? 
Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista is a release of Windows Vista Media Center that was available only as an optional component on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) installations of the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista.

How are Server Core installations affected by the vulnerabilities addressed in this bulletin? 
The vulnerabilities addressed by this update do not affect supported editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2012 as indicated in the Non-Affected Software table, when installed using the Server Core installation option. For more information on this installation option, see the TechNet articles, Managing a Server Core Installation: Overview, Servicing a Server Core Installation, and Server Core and Full Server Integration Overview.

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 Alliance, 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

CSyncBasePlayer Use After Free Vulnerability - CVE-2014-4060

Aggregate Severity Rating

Windows Vista

Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (32-bit editions)
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (64-bit editions)
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows 7

Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8.1 Professional for 32-bit Systems
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

Windows Media Center when installed on Windows 8.1 Professional for x64-based Systems
(2978742)

Critical 
Remote Code Execution

Critical

 

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Windows Media Center, which could be exploited by convincing a user to open a specially crafted Microsoft Office file.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2014-4060.

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.
  • 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.

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 Office files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources
    Do not open Office 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.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability is caused when MCPlayer.dll fails to properly clean up resources after a CSyncBasePlayer object is deleted.

What is MCPlayer.dll? 
MCPlayer is a component of Windows Media Center that manages audio and video playback.

What is the Component Object Model (COM)? 
The Component Object Model (COM) is a platform-independent, distributed, object-oriented system for creating binary software components that are capable of interaction. COM is the foundation technology for Microsoft's OLE (compound documents) and ActiveX (Internet-enabled components) technologies.

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. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full administrative rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by placing specially crafted Office files on a remote share or by attaching them to an email. When a user double-clicks the specially crafted file from a computer containing Windows Media Center, the malicious code may be able to run.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability? 
This vulnerability mainly affects workstations that both run Microsoft Office and contain Windows Media Center components.

Most Microsoft-Office-related vulnerabilities are rated Important; why is this vulnerability rated Critical? 
Most Microsoft Office vulnerabilities that require user interaction to exploit are rated Important. However, as of the publishing of this bulletin, Microsoft cannot rule out a web-based attack vector that could potentially be used to exploit the underlying vulnerable code. Accordingly, the vulnerability has been rated Critical.

What does the update do? 
The update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how Component Object Model (COM) objects are handled in memory.

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

Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista

Reference Table

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

Security update file names

For Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (32-bit editions):
MCETVPack-Windows6.0-KB2978742-x86.msu


For Windows Media Center TV Pack for Windows Vista (64-bit editions):
MCETVPack-Windows6.0-KB2978742-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

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.

Removal information

WUSA.exe does not support uninstall of updates. To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, click Control Panel, and then click Security. Under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2978742

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

 

Windows 7 (all editions)

Reference Table

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

Security update file name

For all supported 32-bit editions of Windows 7:
Windows6.1-KB2978742-x86.msu


For all supported x64-based editions of Windows 7:
Windows6.1-KB2978742-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

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.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, and then under Windows Update, click View installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2978742

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

 

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (all editions)

Reference Table

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

Security update file name

For Windows Media Center when installed on all supported 32-bit editions of Windows 8:
Windows8-RT-KB2978742-x86.msu


For Windows Media Center when installed on all supported x64-based editions of Windows 8:
Windows8-RT-KB2978742-x64.msu


For Windows Media Center when installed on 32-bit editions of Windows 8.1 Professional:
Windows8.1-KB2978742-x86.msu


For Windows Media Center when installed on x64-based editions of Windows 8.1 Professional:
Windows8.1-KB2978742-x64.msu

Installation switches

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 934307

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.

Removal information

To uninstall an update installed by WUSA, use the /Uninstall setup switch or click Control Panel, click System and Security, click Windows Update, and then under See also, click Installed updates and select from the list of updates.

File information

See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2978742

Registry key verification

Note A registry key does not exist to validate the presence of this update.

  

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

  • Alisa Esage (@alisaesage), working with HP's Zero Day Initiative, for reporting the CSyncBasePlayer Use After Free Vulnerability (CVE-2014-4060)

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 2014-08-11 8:35Z-07:00.
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