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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-037 - Critical

Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (936548)

Published: July 10, 2007

Version: 1.0

General Information

Executive Summary

This important security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability. This vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user viewed a specially crafted Microsoft Office Publisher 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. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability.

This is an important security update for supported releases of Microsoft Office Publisher 2007. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

This security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 handles malformed .pub files. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.

Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers should apply the update at the earliest opportunity.

Known Issues. None

Affected and Non-Affected Software

The software listed here 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, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Affected Software

Office Suite and Other Affected SoftwareComponentMaximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by This Update
2007 Microsoft Office System Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Remote Code ExecutionImportantNone

Non-Affected Software

Office SuiteApplication
Microsoft Office 2000 Service Pack 3Microsoft Publisher 2000
Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 3Microsoft Publisher 2002
Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2Microsoft Publisher 2003

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 have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. To determine the support life cycle for your software release, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

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. For more information about the Windows Product Lifecycle, visit the following Microsoft Support Lifecycle. For more information about the extended security update support period for these software releases, visit the Microsoft Product Support Services Web site.

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, visit the Microsoft Worldwide Information Web site, select the country, 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 Windows Operating System Product Support Lifecycle FAQ.

Vulnerability Information

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected SoftwarePublisher Invalid Memory Reference Vulnerability – CVE-2007-1754Aggregate Severity Rating
Microsoft Office Publisher 2007 Important

Remote Code Execution

Important

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way Publisher does not adequately clear out memory resources when writing application data from disk to memory. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by constructing a specially crafted Publisher (.pub) page. When a user views the .pub page, the vulnerability could allow remote code execution. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2007-1754.

Mitigating Factors for Publisher Invalid Memory Reference Vulnerability – CVE-2007-1754

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:

  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local 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.
  • In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability In addition, Web sites that accept or host user-provided content, or compromised Web sites and advertisement servers could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. Instead, an attacker would have to persuade 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.
  • 2007 Microsoft Office System will show a prompt with Open, Save, or Cancel before opening a document from the Internet or restricted sites zone.
  • 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.

Workarounds for Publisher Invalid Memory Reference Vulnerability – CVE-2007-1754

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 or save Microsoft 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.
  • Modify Access Control List on pubconv.dll

    To modify the Access Control List (ACL) on pubconv.dll to be more restrictive, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type "cmd" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  2. Type the following command at a command prompt. Make a note of the current ACLs that are on the file (including inheritance settings) for future reference in case you have to undo this modification:

    cacls \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\pubconv.dll
  3. Type the following command at a command prompt to deny the ‘everyone’ group access to this file:

    cacls \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 /d everyone

    Impact of Workaround: Applications that require the use of previous editions of Publisher documents may no longer function correctly.

FAQ for Publisher Invalid Memory Reference Vulnerability – CVE-2007-1754

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
If successfully exploited, this remote code execution vulnerability could allow the attacker to run arbitrary code as the logged-on user.

What causes the vulnerability? 
Publisher does not correctly validate memory values read from a malformed file.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could make changes to the system with the permissions of the logged-on user. If a user is logged in 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? 
This vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted Publisher file with an affected version of Microsoft Office Publisher.

In an e-mail 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 a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web site that contains a Publisher file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites 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 Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to persuade them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link that takes them to the attacker's site.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability? 
Systems where Microsoft Publisher is used 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? 
The update removes the vulnerability by correctly validating memory values read from a file.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed? 
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through responsible disclosure. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this security bulletin was originally issued.

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 and had not seen any examples of proof of concept code published when this security bulletin was originally issued.

Update Information

Manage the software and security updates you need to deploy to the servers, desktop, and mobile systems in your organization. For more information see the TechNet Update Management Center. The Microsoft TechNet Security Web site provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.

Security updates are available from Microsoft Update, Windows Update, and Office Update. Security updates are also available at the Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security_patch." Finally, security updates can be downloaded from the Windows Update Catalog. For more information about the Windows Update Catalog, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 323166.

Detection and Deployment Guidance

Microsoft has provided detection and deployment guidance for this month’s security updates. This guidance will also help IT professionals understand how they can use various tools to help deploy the security update, such as Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Office Update, the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA), the Office Detection Tool, Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), the Extended Security Update Inventory Tool, and the Enterprise Update Scan Tool (EST). For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 910723.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) allows administrators to scan local and remote systems for missing security updates as well as common security misconfigurations. For more information about MBSA visit Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer Web site. The following table provides the MBSA detection summary for this security update.

SoftwareMBSA 1.2.1MBSA 2.0.1
Microsoft Office Publisher 2007YesYes

For more information about MBSA, visit the MBSA Web site. For more information about the software that Microsoft Update and MBSA 2.0 currently do not detect, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 895660.

Note MBSA 1.2.1 uses an integrated version of the Office Detection Tool (ODT) which does not support remote scans of this security update. For more information about MBSA, visit the MBSA Web site.

Windows Server Update Services

By using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), administrators can deploy the latest critical updates and security updates for Windows 2000 operating systems and later, Office XP and later, Exchange Server 2003, and SQL Server 2000 to Windows 2000 and later operating systems. For more information about how to deploy this security update using Windows Server Update Services, visit the Windows Server Update Services Web site.

Systems Management Server

The following table provides the SMS detection and deployment summary for this security update.

SoftwareSMS 2.0SMS 2003
Microsoft Office Publisher 2007YesYes


SMS 2.0 and SMS 2003 Software Update Services (SUS) Feature Pack can use MBSA 1.2.1 for detection and therefore have the same limitation that is listed earlier in this bulletin related to programs that MBSA 1.2.1 does not detect.

For SMS 2.0, the SMS SUS Feature Pack, which includes the Security Update Inventory Tool (SUIT), can be used by SMS to detect security updates. SMS SUIT uses the MBSA 1.2.1 engine for detection. For more information about SUIT, visit the following Microsoft Web site. For more information about the limitations of SUIT, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 306460. The SMS SUS Feature Pack also includes the Microsoft Office Inventory Tool to detect required updates for Microsoft Office applications.

For SMS 2003, the SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU) can be used by SMS to detect security updates that are offered by Microsoft Update and that are supported by Windows Server Update Services. For more information about the SMS 2003 ITMU, visit the following Microsoft Web site. SMS 2003 can also use the Microsoft Office Inventory Tool to detect required updates for Microsoft Office applications.

For more information about SMS, visit the SMS Web site.

Office Administrative Installation Point

If you installed your application from a server location, the server administrator must update the server location with the administrative update and deploy that update to your system.

Affected Software

For information about the specific security update for your affected software, click the appropriate link:

Publisher 2007(all editions)

Reference Table

The following table contains the security update information for this software. You can find additional information in the subsection, Deployment Information, in this section.

Inclusion in Future Service Packs The update for this issue may be included in a future update rollup
Deployment
Installing without user interventionpublisher2007-kb936646-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /passive
Installing without restartingpublisher2007-kb936646-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /norestart
Update log fileUsers can enable verbose logging by using the /log switch see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 912203 for more details.
Further informationSee the subsection, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance.
Restart Requirement
Restart requiredThis update does not require a restart.
HotpatchingNot applicable
Removal Information Use Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel.
File Information See the subsection, File Information, in this section for the full file manifest
Registry Key Verification Not applicable

File Information

The English version of this security update has the file attributes that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

For all supported and affected editions of Publisher 2007:

File NameVersionDateTimeSize
Mspub.exe12.0.6023.500026-May-200703:049,585,024
Pubconv.dll12.0.6023.500023-May-200722:52592,784

Note For a complete list of supported versions and editions, see the Support Lifecycle Index. For a complete list of service packs, see Lifecycle Supported Service Packs. For more information on the support lifecycle policy, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.

Deployment Information

Installing the Update

You can install the update from the appropriate download link in the Affected and Non-Affected Software section. If you installed your application from a server location, the server administrator must instead update the server location with the administrative update and deploy that update to your system. For more information about Administrative Installation Points, refer to the Office Administrative Installation Point information in the Detection and deployment Tools and Guidance subsection.

This security update requires that Windows Installer 2.0 or later be installed on the system. All supported versions of Windows include Windows Installer 2.0 or a later version.

To install the latest version of Windows Installer, visit one of the following Microsoft Web sites:

For more information about the terminology that appears in this bulletin, such as hotfix, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 824684.

This security update supports the following setup switches.

Supported Security Update Installation Switches
SwitchDescription
/extract:[ path ] Extracts the content of the package to the path folder. If a path is not specified, then a Browse dialog box appears.
/log:[ path to log file ] Enables verbose logging for the update installation.
/lang: lcid Sets the user interface to the specified locale when multiple locales are available in the package.
/quiet Runs the package in silent mode.
/passive Runs the update without any interaction from the user.
/norestart Prevents prompting of the user when a restart of the computer is needed.
/forcerestart Forces a restart of the computer as soon as the update is finished.
/?, /h, /helpShows this help message.
/extract:[ path ] Extracts the content of the package to the path folder. If a path is not specified, then a Browse dialog box appears.
/log:[ path to log file ] Enables verbose logging for the update installation.
/lang: lcid Sets the user interface to the specified locale when multiple locales are available in the package.

Note You can combine these switches into one command. For backward compatibility, the security update also supports the setup switches that the earlier version of the Setup program uses. For more information about the supported installation switches, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 912203 . For more information about the installer, visit the Microsoft TechNet Web site. For more information about the terminology that appears in this bulletin, such as hotfix, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 824684.

Removing the Update

To remove this security update, use the Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel.

Verifying That the Update Has Been Applied

  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

    To verify that a security update has been applied to an affected system, you may be able to use the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) tool. See the “Microsoft baseline Security Analyzer” heading under the section, Microsoft Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance.

  • File Version Verification

    Because there are several versions and editions of Microsoft Office, the following steps may be different on your system. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.

    1. Click Start, and then click Search.
    2. In the Search Results pane, click All files and folders under Search Companion.
    3. In the All or part of the file name box, type a file name from the appropriate file information table, and then click Search.
    4. In the list of files, right-click a file name from the appropriate file information table, and then click Properties.

      Note Depending on the edition of the operating system, or the programs that are installed on your system, some of the files that are listed in the file information table may not be installed.
    5. On the Version tab, determine the version of the file that is installed on your system by comparing it to the version that is documented in the appropriate file information table.

      Note Attributes other than the file version may change during installation. Comparing other file attributes to the information in the file information table is not a supported method of verifying that the update has been applied. Also, in certain cases, files may be renamed during installation. If the file or version information is not present, use one of the other available methods to verify update installation.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

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

eEye for reporting the Publisher Invalid Memory Reference Vulnerability - CVE-2007-1754.

Support

  • Customers in the U.S. and Canada can receive technical support from Microsoft Product Support Services at 1-866-PCSAFETY. There is no charge for support calls that are associated with security updates.
  • International customers can receive support from their local Microsoft subsidiaries. There is no charge for support that is associated with security updates. For more information about how to contact Microsoft for support issues, visit the International Support Web site.

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, 2007): Bulletin published.

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