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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-028 - Important

Vulnerability in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Published: April 10, 2012 | Updated: April 25, 2012

Version: 1.1

General Information

Executive Summary

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Works file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current 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.

This security update is rated Important for Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2, Microsoft Works 9, and the Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

The security update addresses the vulnerability by deprecating the vulnerable Microsoft Works converter. Customers should use the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter, which is not affected by the vulnerability. After the update is installed, customers with the deprecated Microsoft Works converter, who have not already downloaded the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter, will be prompted when attempting to open a Works file with instructions on how to download the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter. 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. None

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

SoftwareMaximum Security ImpactAggregate Severity RatingBulletins Replaced by this Update
Office Software
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2
(KB2596871)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB969559 in MS09-024 replaced by KB2596871
Other Software
Microsoft Works 9
(KB2680317)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB2431831 in MS10-105 replaced by KB2680317
Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter
(KB2680326)
Remote Code ExecutionImportantKB968326 in MS09-024 replaced by KB2680326

Non-Affected Software 

Office and Other Software
Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3
Microsoft Office 2010 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2010 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac
Open XML File Format Converter for Mac
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats Service Pack 2
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service Pack 3

I have Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3 installed. If it is not affected, why am I being offered this update? 
Although the vulnerability described in CVE-2012-0177 does not affect Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3, the update mechanism offers the update because it detects a lower version of the files on the system as compared to those in the update package.

Where are the file information details? 
Refer to the reference tables in the Security Update Deployment section for the location of the file information details.

What is the Microsoft Works 6-9 File Converter? 
The Microsoft Works 6-9 File Converter is an optional download that allows Microsoft Office applications to open, edit, and save files in the Works Word Processor file format supported by the Works versions 6, 7, 8, and 9.

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. For more information about the product lifecycle, visit 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, visit 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.

Vulnerability Information

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 April bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected SoftwareOffice WPS Converter Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2012-0177 Aggregate Severity Rating
Office Software
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2Important 
Remote Code Execution
Important
Other Software
Microsoft Works 9Important 
Remote Code Execution
Important
Microsoft Works 6–9 File ConverterImportant 
Remote Code Execution
Important

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Office Works File Converter. 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.

To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2012-0177.

Mitigating Factors for Office WPS Converter Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2012-0177

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:

  • In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a specially crafted file that is used 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 visit these websites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, 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 file.
  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current 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.
  • 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.

Workarounds for Office WPS Converter Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2012-0177

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 Works files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources

    Do not open Works (.wps) 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 for Office WPS Converter Heap Overflow Vulnerability - CVE-2012-0177

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is a remote code execution vulnerability.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability is caused when the Microsoft Works converter does not properly validate the .wps file format when parsing a specially crafted file.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on 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 .wps file with an affected version of Microsoft Office.

In an email 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 website that contains a specially crafted Works file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised websites and websites 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 these websites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince them to visit the website, 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? 
Workstations and terminal servers that have the affected versions of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works installed 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 addresses the vulnerability by deprecating the vulnerable Microsoft Works converter. Customers should use the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter, which is not affected by the vulnerability. After the update is installed, customers with the deprecated Microsoft Works converter, who have not already downloaded the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter, will be prompted when attempting to open a Works file with instructions on how to download the latest version of the Microsoft Works converter.

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.

Update Information

Security Central

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 website provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.

Security updates are available from Microsoft Update and Windows Update. Security updates are also available from the Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security update."

For customers of Microsoft Office for Mac, Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac can help keep your Microsoft software up to date. For more information about using Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac, see Check for software updates automatically.

Finally, security updates can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog. The Microsoft Update Catalog provides a searchable catalog of content made available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including security updates, drivers and service packs. By searching using the security bulletin number (such as, "MS07-036"), you can add all of the applicable updates to your basket (including different languages for an update), and download to the folder of your choosing. For more information about the Microsoft Update Catalog, see the Microsoft Update Catalog FAQ.

Detection and Deployment Guidance

Microsoft provides detection and deployment guidance for security updates. This guidance contains recommendations and information that can help IT professionals understand how to use various tools for detection and deployment of security updates. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 961747.

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.

The following table provides the MBSA detection summary for this security update.

Software MBSA
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 Yes
Microsoft Works 9 Yes
Microsoft Works 6–9 File ConverterYes

Note For customers using legacy software not supported by the latest release of MBSA, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services, please visit Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and reference the Legacy Product Support section on how to create comprehensive security update detection with legacy tools.

Windows Server Update Services

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables information technology administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates to computers that are running the Windows operating system. For more information about how to deploy security updates using Windows Server Update Services, see the TechNet article, Windows Server Update Services.

Systems Management Server

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

SoftwareSMS 2003 with ITMUConfiguration Manager 2007
Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2 YesYes
Microsoft Works 9YesYes
Microsoft Works 6–9 File ConverterYesYes

Note Microsoft discontinued support for SMS 2.0 on April 12, 2011. For SMS 2003, Microsoft also discontinued support for the Security Update Inventory Tool (SUIT) on April 12, 2011. Customers are encouraged to upgrade to System Center Configuration Manager 2007. For customers remaining on SMS 2003 Service Pack 3, the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU) is also an option.

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, see SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates. For more information about SMS scanning tools, see SMS 2003 Software Update Scanning Tools. See also Downloads for Systems Management Server 2003.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 uses WSUS 3.0 for detection of updates. For more information about Configuration Manager 2007 Software Update Management, visit System Center Configuration Manager 2007.

For more information about SMS, visit the SMS website.

For more detailed information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 910723: Summary list of monthly detection and deployment guidance articles.

Note If you have used an Administrative Installation Point (AIP) for deploying Office XP or Office 2003, you may not be able to deploy the update using SMS if you have updated the AIP from the original baseline. For more information, see the Office Administrative Installation Point heading in this section.

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.

Update Compatibility Evaluator and Application Compatibility Toolkit

Updates often write to the same files and registry settings required for your applications to run. This can trigger incompatibilities and increase the time it takes to deploy security updates. You can streamline testing and validating Windows updates against installed applications with the Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) contains the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows Vista, a Windows Update, a Microsoft Security Update, or a new version of Windows Internet Explorer in your environment.

Affected Software

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

Microsoft Office 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 PacksThe update for this issue will be included in a future service pack or update rollup
Deployment
Installing without user interventionworks6322007-kb2596871-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /passive
Installing without restartingworks6322007-kb2596871-fullfile-x86-glb.exe /norestart
Update log fileNot applicable
Further informationFor detection and deployment, see the earlier section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance.
Restart Requirement
Restart required?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.

To help reduce the chance that a restart will be required, stop all affected services and close all applications that may use the affected files prior to installing the security update. For more information about the reasons why you may be prompted to restart, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 887012.
HotPatchingNot applicable
Removal InformationUse Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel.
File InformationSee Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2596871
Registry Key VerificationNot applicable

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 3.1 or later version be installed on the system.

To install the 3.1 or later version of Windows Installer, visit one of the following Microsoft websites:

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
/? or /helpDisplays usage dialog.
/passiveSpecifies passive mode. Requires no user interaction; users see basic progress dialogs but cannot cancel.
/quietSpecifies quiet mode, or suppresses prompts, when files are being extracted.
/norestartSuppresses restarting the system if the update requires a restart.
/forcerestartAutomatically restarts the system after applying the update, regardless of whether the update requires the restart.
/extractExtracts the files without installing them. You are prompted for a target folder.
/extract:<path>Overrides the install command that is defined by author. Specifies the path and name of the Setup.inf or .exe file.
/lang:<LCID>Forces the use of a specific language, when the update package supports that language.
/log:<log file>Enables logging, by both Vnox and Installer, during the update installation.

Note You can combine these switches into one command. For backward compatibility, the security update also supports many of 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 262841.

Removing the Update

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

Note When you remove this update, you may be prompted to insert the 2007 Microsoft Office CD in the CD drive. Additionally, you may not have the option to uninstall the update from the Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel. There are several possible causes for this issue. For more information about the removal, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 903771.

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 section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, earlier in this bulletin for more information.

  • File Version Verification

    Because there are several editions of Microsoft Windows, 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 enter an update file name in the Start Search box.
    2. When the file appears under Programs, right-click the file name and click Properties.
    3. On the General tab, compare the file size with the file information tables provided in the bulletin KB article.

      Note Depending on the edition of the operating system, or the programs that are installed on your system, some files that are listed in the file information table may not be installed.
    4. You can also click the Details tab and compare information, such as file version and date modified, with the file information tables provided in the bulletin KB article.

      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.
    5. Finally, you can also click the Previous Versions tab and compare file information for the previous version of the file with the file information for the new, or updated, version of the file.

Works 9 and Works 6–9 File Converter

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 PacksThe update for this issue will be included in a future service pack or update rollup
Deployment
Installing without user interventionFor Microsoft Works 9:
Works9_KB2680317_en-US.msp /passive
For Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter:
Works9Conv_KB2680326_en-US.msp /passive
Installing without restartingFor Microsoft Works 9:
Works9_KB2680317_en-US.msp /norestart
For Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter:
Works9Conv_KB2680326_en-US.msp /norestart
Update log fileNot applicable
Further informationFor detection and deployment, see the earlier section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance.
Restart Requirement
Restart required?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.

To help reduce the chance that a restart will be required, stop all affected services and close all applications that may use the affected files prior to installing the security update. For more information about the reasons why you may be prompted to restart, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 887012.
HotpatchingNot applicable
Removal InformationUse Add or Remove Programs tool in Control Panel.
File InformationFor Microsoft Works 9, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2680317
For Microsoft Works 6–9 File Converter, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2680326
Registry Key VerificationNot applicable

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 3.1 or later be installed on the system.

To install the 3.1 or later 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
/helpDisplays the command-line options.
/quiet or /q[n|b|r|f]Quiet mode, no user interaction or
/q[n|b|r|f] sets user interface level:
n - No user interface
b - Basic user interface
r - Reduced user interface
f - Full user interface (default)
/passiveUnattended mode - progress bar only.
/norestartDo not restart after the installation is complete.
/l[i|w|e|a|r|u|c|m|o|p|v|x|+|!|*] <LogFile>Enables logging. Options:
i - Status messages
w - Nonfatal warnings
e - All error messages
a - Start up of actions
r - Action-specific records
u - User requests
c - Initial UI parameters
m - Out-of-memory or fatal exit information
o - Out-of-disk-space messages
p - Terminal properties
v - Verbose output
x - Extra debugging information
+ - Append to existing log file
! - Flush each line to the log
* - Log all information, except for v and x options
/log<LogFile>Equivalent of /l* <LogFile>.

Note You can combine these switches into one command. For backward compatibility, the security update also supports many of 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 262841.

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 section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, earlier in this bulletin for more information.

  • File Version Verification

    Because there are several editions of Microsoft Windows, 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 enter an update file name in Start Search.
    2. When the file appears under Programs, right-click on the file name and click Properties.
    3. Under the General tab, compare the file size with the file information tables provided in the bulletin KB article.
    4. You may also click on the Details tab and compare information, such as file version and date modified, with the file information tables provided in the bulletin KB article.
    5. Finally, you may also click on the Previous Versions tab and compare file information for the previous version of the file with the file information for the new, or updated, version of the file.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

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

  • Shaun Colley of IOActive, Ltd. for reporting the Office WPS Converter Heap Overflow Vulnerability (CVE-2012-0177)

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 (April 10, 2012): Bulletin published.
  • V1.1 (April 25, 2012): Added an entry to the update FAQ to explain why this update is offered to customers running Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3.

Built at 2014-04-16T02:39:51Z-07:00

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