Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/14/2017
05:35 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Word Vuln Went Unnoticed for 17 Years: Report

Researchers claim Microsoft Word vulnerability, patched today, has existed for 17 years.

Microsoft today rolled out 53 security patches for the month of November as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update. One of the fixes addresses CVE-2017-11882, a flaw that has existed, unnoticed, in Microsoft Word for the past 17 years.

The fixes announced today address flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Edge, ASP.NET Core, .NET Core, and Chakra Core. Twenty of the CVEs are labeled Critical, 30 are ranked Important, and three are Moderate. Three of the bugs today are publicly known but none are categorized as being under active attack, and there were no zero-days this month.

Researchers at Embedi, a firm specializing in security for embedded devices, today released a report on a 17-year-old remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Office, which was patched today. They claim it has not been patched and Microsoft did not know it existed.

CVE-2017-11882 is a Microsoft Office Memory Corruption Vulnerability, Microsoft reports. It exists in Office software when the software doesn't properly handle objects in memory. If successfully exploited, it could let an attacker run arbitrary code in the context of the user.

If a user has administrative privileges, an attacker who took advantage of this exploit could take control of an infected system and install programs, view and edit data, or create new accounts with full user rights. Microsoft says this CVE is more dangerous for administrative users.

CVE-2017-11882 could be exploited with a phishing attack; victims need only to open a malicious file with an affected version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft WordPad. In a web-based attack, an attacker could host a website with a malicious file designed to exploit the CVE.

The exploit was created by Embedi experts, who report it works with all Microsoft Office versions released in the past 17 years, including Office 365. It works on versions of Microsoft Windows, including the Creators Update, and it's relevant for all types of architecture. This flaw doesn't interrupt a user's work within Microsoft Office, Embedi explains. Once the document is opened, it doesn't require any further user interaction.

"The only hindrance here is the protected view mode because it forbids content execution (OLE/ActiveX/Macro)," researchers say. However, this could be bypassed with social engineering. An attacker could, for example, ask a user to save a file to the cloud using OneDrive or Google Drive. When opened, protected view mode would not be enabled.

Embedi researchers reported the vulnerability to Microsoft in March 2017 and the final fix was issued today.

Greg Wiseman, senior security researcher at Rapid7, points out CVE-2017-11882 as one of the flaws which could be especially dangerous.  

"No non-browser vulnerabilities are considered critical this month, but with a little bit of social engineering, an attacker could theoretically combine one of the Office-based RCE vulnerabilities like CVE-2017-11878 or CVE-2017-11882 with a Windows Kernel privilege escalation weakness such as CVE-2017-11847 to gain complete control over a system," he says.

Related Content:

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry’s most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
allhealthpost
50%
50%
allhealthpost,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2017 | 1:34:22 AM
Re: Define a virus
great post to read
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
11/16/2017 | 3:55:12 PM
17 years
> 17 years

Considering my preferred version is Office 93, I should be good. ;)

(JK...but I do miss the old days of MS-DOS and Windows 3.x.)
bluvg
50%
50%
bluvg,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/15/2017 | 2:46:29 PM
Re: Define a virus
Looks like Linux-based Android isn't doing so well, security-wise. The recent Bluetooth and KRACK flaws hit Android much harder than both Windows and iOS, and were patched later. The "many eyes" notion has failed in high-profile ways recently as well, with several long-standing bugs affecting Linux going unnoticed for over a decade.
REISEN1955
0%
100%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
11/15/2017 | 8:14:11 AM
Define a virus
Years ago I read an editorial about define standards for a virus and on each and every point, Microsoft Windows ITSELF met the criteria pefectly.   Just to keep things in perspective and now the Linux people can laugh.
Malicious USB Drive Hides Behind Gift Card Lure
Dark Reading Staff 3/27/2020
How Attackers Could Use Azure Apps to Sneak into Microsoft 365
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/24/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-10940
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Local Privilege Escalation can occur in PHOENIX CONTACT PORTICO SERVER through 3.0.7 when installed to run as a service.
CVE-2020-10939
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Insecure, default path permissions in PHOENIX CONTACT PC WORX SRT through 1.14 allow for local privilege escalation.
CVE-2020-6095
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
An exploitable denial of service vulnerability exists in the GstRTSPAuth functionality of GStreamer/gst-rtsp-server 1.14.5. A specially crafted RTSP setup request can cause a null pointer deference resulting in denial-of-service. An attacker can send a malicious packet to trigger this vulnerability.
CVE-2020-10817
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
The custom-searchable-data-entry-system (aka Custom Searchable Data Entry System) plugin through 1.7.1 for WordPress allows SQL Injection. NOTE: this product is discontinued.
CVE-2020-10952
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
GitLab EE/CE 8.11 through 12.9.1 allows blocked users to pull/push docker images.