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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-046 - Important

Vulnerability in Visual Basic for Applications Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2707960)

Published: | Updated:

Version: 2.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a legitimate Microsoft Office file (such as a .docx file) that is located in the same directory as a specially crafted dynamic link library (DLL) file. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts that have full user rights. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete control of the affected system. 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 Important for all supported versions of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK and third-party applications that use Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. This security update is also rated Important for all supported editions of Microsoft Office 2003 SP3, Microsoft Office 2007 SP2, and Microsoft Office 2010. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications loads external libraries. For more information about the vulnerability, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

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 in supported editions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 294871. For information about automatic updating in supported editions of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2, see Understanding Windows automatic updating.

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.

Known Issues. Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2707960 documents the currently known issues that customers may experience when installing this security update. The article also documents recommended solutions for these issues. When currently known issues and recommended solutions pertain only to specific releases of this software, this article provides links to further articles.

Affected and Non-Affected Software

The following software have 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, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software 

Microsoft Office Suites and Software

Office Software Maximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by this Update
Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3[1] 
(KB2687626)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB976382 in MS10-031 replaced by KB2598361 or KB2687626[2]
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2[1] 
(KB2596744)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB976321 in MS10-031 replaced by KB2596744
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3[1] 
(KB2596744)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Microsoft Office 2010 (32-bit editions) 
(KB2598243)

Microsoft Office 2010 (32-bit editions) 
(KB2553447)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions) 
(KB2598243)

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions) 
(KB2553447)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Microsoft Office 2010 (64-bit editions) 
(KB2598243)

Microsoft Office 2010 (64-bit editions) 
(KB2553447)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions) 
(KB2598243)

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions) 
(KB2553447)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone

[1]These updates for Microsoft Office apply to all supported Microsoft Office suites and other Microsoft Office software that contain the vulnerable shared Office component. These include, but are not limited to, supported versions of Microsoft Visio and Microsoft Project. For more information, see the next section, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update.

[2]Although the rereleased update (KB2687626) replaces the original update (KB2598361) for Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3, customers who have successfully installed the KB2598361 update do not need to install the KB2687626 update. For more information, see the update FAQ.

Microsoft Developer Tools and Software

SoftwareMaximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by this Update
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications[1]
(KB2688865)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB974945 in MS10-031 replaced by KB2688865
Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK[2][3]Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone

[1]This update package applies to supported versions of the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications runtime (Vbe6.dll) and is available from the Microsoft Download Center only.

[2]The supported versions of the VBA SDK are Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK 6.3, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK 6.4, and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK 6.5.

[3]The updated version of the Visual Basic for Applications SDK that addresses the vulnerability described in this bulletin is available for independent software vendors (ISVs) from the Summit Software Company. For more information, see the next section, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update.

Non-Affected Software 

Office and Other Software
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 2 and Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 3
Microsoft Excel Viewer
Microsoft Word Viewer
Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 and Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 Service Pack 1

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update

Vulnerability Information

Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers

Visual Basic for Applications Insecure Library Loading Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1854

Update Information

Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance

Security Update Deployment

Other Information

Acknowledgments

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

  • Bai Haowen of Huawei Security Labs for reporting the Visual Basic for Applications Insecure Library Loading Vulnerability (CVE-2012-1854)

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 visit 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 (July 10, 2012): Bulletin published.
  • V2.0 (November 13, 2012): Rereleased bulletin to replace the KB2598361 update with the KB2687626 update for Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 to address an issue with digital certificates described in Microsoft Security Advisory 2749655. See the update FAQ for details.