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Microsoft Vulnerability Research Advisory MSVR11-008

Vulnerability in Google Picasa Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Published: July 19, 2011 | Updated: July 19, 2011

Version: 1.1

Overview

Executive Summary

Microsoft is providing notification of the discovery and remediation of a vulnerability affecting Google Picasa for Windows version 3.6 build 105.61 and earlier. Microsoft discovered and disclosed the vulnerability under coordinated vulnerability disclosure to the affected vendor, Google Inc. Google Inc. has remediated the vulnerability in Picasa.

A vulnerability exists in the way that Picasa handles certain specially crafted JPEG images. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause Picasa to exit unexpectedly and execute arbitrary code. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain 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 Google Inc. to ensure remediation of this issue. The vulnerability has been assigned the entry, CVE-2011-2747, in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list. For more information, including information about Picasa updates from Google, see Google Picasa Release Notes.

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 an image that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit the Web site and then download the image. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, download the image, then open it with the affected software. This is typically achieved 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.
  • 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.
  • Google Picasa has an auto-update feature that is enabled by default. Users who have not disabled this feature are automatically updated to a version that is no longer vulnerable to this issue. For more information, see Picasa Automatic and Manual Updates.

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-2011-2747

Affected and Non-Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software.

Affected Software
Google Picasa 3.6 Build 105.61
Non-Affected Software
Google Picasa 3.6 Build 105.67
Google Picasa 3.8

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 a remote code execution vulnerability. 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.

What causes the vulnerability? 
The vulnerability exists in the way that Picasa handles certain invalid properties of a JPEG image file.

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? 
Exploitation of this vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted JPEG file with an affected version of Google Picasa.

In a Web-based attack scenario, a Web site could contain a specially crafted JPEG file that is used to exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site and open the specially crafted JPEG file, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's Web site, and then convince them to open the specially crafted JPEG file.

In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted JPEG file to the user and convincing the user to open the file.

When this advisory was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed? 
No. Microsoft reported this vulnerability to the affected third-party vendor through coordinated vulnerability disclosure.

When this advisory 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 advisory was originally issued.

Upgrade to a version that is not affected by this vulnerability. Allow your installation of Picasa to update itself by ensuring that the auto-update feature, which is enabled by default, has not been disabled.

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following:

  • David Weston of Microsoft for discovering this issue and the team at Google for working toward a resolution.

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 (July 19, 2011): Advisory published.
  • V1.1 (July 19, 2011): Added FAQ entries about disclosure and exploitation of this issue.

Built at 2014-04-18T13:49:36Z-07:00

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