Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-065 - Important
Vulnerability in Microsoft Works Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2754670)
Published: October 09, 2012
This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Works. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Word file using Microsoft Works. 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 Works 9. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.
The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying the way that Microsoft Works converts Word documents. 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, see Microsoft Support Lifecycle.
|Software||Maximum Security Impact||Aggregate Severity Rating||Updates Replaced|
|Microsoft Works 9
|Remote Code Execution||Important||KB2680317 in MS12-028 replaced by KB2754670|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update
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.
Where are the hashes of the security updates?
The SHA1 and SHA2 hashes of the security updates can be used to verify the authenticity of downloaded security update packages. For the hash information pertaining to this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2754670.
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, see 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, see 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.
Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers
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 October bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.
|Affected Software||Works Heap Vulnerability - CVE-2012-2550||Aggregate Severity Rating|
|Microsoft Works 9||Important
Remote Code Execution
Works Heap Vulnerability - CVE-2012-2550
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that affected versions of Microsoft Works parse specially crafted Word files. 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. 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.
To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2012-2550.
Mitigating Factors for Works Heap Vulnerability - CVE-2012-2550
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:
- 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.
- 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.
Workarounds for Works Heap Vulnerability - CVE-2012-2550
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 Word 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 Works Heap Vulnerability - CVE-2012-2550
What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability.
What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability is caused when Microsoft Works parses specially crafted Word (.doc) files, potentially causing system memory corruption that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code.
What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code 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 specially crafted Word files with an affected version of Microsoft Works.
In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website that contains a 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. In all cases, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit a specially crafted website. 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, and then convince them to open the specially crafted Works file.
What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Workstations and terminal servers that have affected versions of 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 modifying the way that Microsoft Works parses specially crafted Word (.doc) files.
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.
Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance
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, "MS12-001"), you can add all 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) lets administrators scan local and remote systems for missing security updates as well as common security misconfigurations. For more information, see Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.
The following table provides the MBSA detection summary for this security update.
|Microsoft Works 9||Yes|
Note For customers using legacy software not supported by the latest release of MBSA, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services, please see 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.
|Software||SMS 2003 with ITMU||System Center Configuration Manager|
|Microsoft Works 9||Yes||Yes|
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. 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 uses WSUS 3.0 for detection of updates. For more information, see System Center.
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 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.
- For supported versions of Microsoft Office 2003, see Creating an Administrative Installation Point. For more information on how to change the source for a client computer from an updated administrative installation point to an Office 2003 original baseline source or Service Pack 3 (SP3), see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 902349.
Note If you plan to manage software updates centrally from an updated administrative image, you can find more information in the article, Distributing Office 2003 Product Updates.
- For creating a network installation point for supported versions of Microsoft Office, see Create a network installation point for Microsoft Office.
Note If you plan to manage security updates centrally, use Windows Server Update Services. For more information about how to deploy security updates for Microsoft Office, see the Windows Server Update Services website.
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.
Security Update Deployment
For information about the specific security update for your affected software, click the appropriate link:
Microsoft Works 9
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 will be included in a future service pack or update rollup|
|Installing without user intervention||Works9_KB2754670_en-US.msp /passive|
|Installing without restarting||Works9_KB2754670_en-US.msp /norestart|
|Update log file||Not applicable|
|Further information||For detection and deployment, see the earlier section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance.|
|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.
|Removal Information||Use Add or Remove Programs item in Control Panel.|
|File Information||See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2754670|
|Registry Key Verification||Not applicable|
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, see one of the following Microsoft websites:
- Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable for Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP
- Windows Installer 3.1 Redistributable for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Microsoft Windows 2000
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.
|/help||Displays 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)
|/passive||Unattended mode - progress bar only.|
|/norestart||Do 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 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.
- Click Start and then enter an update file name in the Start Search box.
- When the file appears under Programs, right-click the file name and click Properties.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 go to the active protections websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.
How to obtain help and support for this security update
- Help installing updates: Support for Microsoft Update
- Security solutions for IT professionals: TechNet Security Troubleshooting and Support
- Help protect your computer that is running Windows from viruses and malware: Virus Solution and Security Center
- Local support according to your country: International Support
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.
- V1.0 (October 9, 2012): Bulletin published.
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