Microsoft Security Bulletin MS15-098 - Critical

Vulnerabilities in Windows Journal Could Allow Remote Code Execution (3089669)

Published: September 8, 2015 | Updated: September 23, 2015

Version: 1.1

Executive Summary

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Journal 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.

This security update is rated Critical for all supported releases of Windows excluding Itanium editions, which are not affected. For more information, see the Affected Software section.

The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by modifying how Windows Journal parses Journal files. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Vulnerability Information section.

For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3089669.

Affected Software

The following software versions or editions are affected. Versions or editions that are not listed 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.

Operating System Maximum Security Impact Aggregate Severity Rating Updates Replaced*
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 7
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows Server 2012 R2
(3069114)
Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1
Windows RT[1] (3069114) Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows RT 8.1[1] (3069114) Remote Code Execution Critical 3046002 in MS15-045
Windows 10
Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems[2] (3081455) Remote Code Execution Critical 3081444
Windows 10 for x64-based Systems[2] (3081455) Remote Code Execution Critical 3081444

[1]The security updates for Windows RT operating systems are available via Windows Update only.

[2]The Windows 10 update is cumulative. In addition to containing non-security updates, it also contains all of the security fixes for all of the Windows 10-affected vulnerabilities shipping with this month’s security release. See Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3081455 for more information and download links.

*The Updates Replaced column shows only the latest update in any chain of superseded updates. For a comprehensive list of updates replaced, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog, search for the update KB number, and then view update details (updates replaced information is provided on the Package Details tab).

Note Windows Server Technical Preview 2 and Windows Server Technical Preview 3 are affected. Customers running this operating system are encouraged to apply the update, which is available via Windows Update.

Update FAQ

I am running one of the operating systems in the affected software table. Why am I not being offered the Journal update?
The update is only offered to systems on which Windows Journal is installed.

Note On supported editions of Windows Server 2008, Windows Journal is not installed by default. On this operating system, it is installed when the Desktop Experience feature is enabled. As a result, the update for Windows Journal only applies if Desktop Experience is enabled.

Note On supported editions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Journal is not installed by default. On these operating systems, it is installed when the Ink and Handwriting Services feature is enabled. As a result, the update for Windows Journal only applies if Ink and Handwriting Services is enabled.

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 September bulletin summary.

Vulnerability Severity Rating and Maximum Security Impact by Affected Software
Affected Software Windows Journal RCE Vulnerability - CVE-2015-2513 Windows Journal DoS Vulnerability - CVE-2015-2514 Windows Journal DoS Vulnerability - CVE-2015-2516 Windows Journal Integer Overflow RCE Vulnerability - CVE-2015-2519 Windows Journal RCE Vulnerability - CVE-2015-2530 Aggregate Severity Rating
Windows Vista
Windows Vista Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Vista x64 Edition Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 2
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 7
Windows 7 for 32-bit Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 7 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 for x64-based Systems Service Pack 1
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
Windows 8 for 32-bit Systems
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 8 for x64-based Systems
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 8.1 for 32-bit Systems
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows Server 2012 R2
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1
Windows RT
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows RT 8.1
(3069114)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 10
Windows 10 for 32-bit Systems
(3081455)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Windows 10 for x64-based Systems
(3081455)
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Low
Denial of Service
Low
Denial of Service
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical
Remote Code Execution
Critical

Vulnerability Information

Multiple Windows Journal Remote Code Execution Vulnerabilities

Multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Windows when a specially crafted Journal file is opened in Windows Journal. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could cause arbitrary code to execute in the context of the current user. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take 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.

For an attack to be successful, the vulnerabilities require that a user open a specially crafted Journal file with an affected version of Windows Journal. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerabilities by sending a specially crafted Journal file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file. The update addresses the vulnerabilities by modifying how Windows Journal parses Journal files.

The following table contains links to the standard entry for each vulnerability in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list:

Vulnerability title CVE number Publicly disclosed Exploited
Windows Journal RCE Vulnerability CVE-2015-2513 No No
Windows Journal Integer Overflow RCE Vulnerability CVE-2015-2519 No No
Windows Journal RCE Vulnerability CVE-2015-2530 No No

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.

Workarounds

The following workarounds may be helpful in your situation:

  • Do not open Windows Journal (.jnt) files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources
    Do not open Windows Journal (.jnt) 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.

  • Remove the .jnt file type association

    Interactive Method:
    Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

    To remove the .jnt file type association using the interactive method, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
    2. Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, click jntfile, and then click the File menu and select Export.
    3. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type jntfile HKCR file association registry backup.reg and click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
    4. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.
    5. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Explorer, and then FileExts.
    6. Click .jnt and then click the File menu and select Export.
    7. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type .jntHKCU file association registry backup.reg and then click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
    8. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.

      Using a Managed Script:
      Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

      To remove the .jnt file type association using an interactive, managed script, follow these steps:

    9. First make a backup copy of the registry keys using a managed deployment script with the following commands:

      Regedit.exe /e jntfile_HKCR_registry_backup.reg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\jntfile  
      Regedit.exe /e jnt_HKCU_registry_backup.reg HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt
      
    10. Next save the following to a file with a .reg extension (e.g., Delete_jnt_file_association.reg):

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00  
      [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\jntfile]  
      [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt]
      
    11. Run the above registry script created in step 2 on the target machine with the following command:

      Regedit.exe /s Delete_jnt_file_association.reg

Impact of workaround. Double-clicking a .jnt file will no longer launch journal.exe.

How to undo the workaround:

Restore the registry key by using Registry Editor to restore the settings saved in the .REG files.

  • Remove Windows Journal by disabling the Windows feature that installs it

    On Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
    2. Click Turn Windows Features on or off and then clear the check box for either Tablet PC Optional Components (Windows Vista systems) or Tablet PC Components (Windows 7 systems).
    3. Click OK.

      Impact of workaround. Windows Journal is removed from the system.

      How to undo the workaround:

      To reinstall Windows Journal on Windows Vista or Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

    4. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.

    5. Click Turn Windows Features on or off and then select the check box for either Tablet PC Optional Components (Windows Vista systems) or Tablet PC Components (Windows 7 systems).
    6. Click OK.

      • Deny access to Journal.exe

      To deny access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

      > takeown.exe /f "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe"  
      > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /deny everyone:(F)
      

      Impact of workaround. Windows Journal becomes inaccessible.

      How to undo the workaround:

      To reinstate access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

      > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /remove:d everyone
      

      Multiple Windows Journal Denial of Service Vulnerabilities


    Multiple denial of service vulnerabilities exist in Windows Journal. The vulnerabilities are caused when a specially crafted Journal file is opened in Windows Journal. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerabilities could cause data loss on the target system. Note that the denial of service would not allow an attacker to execute code or to elevate their user rights.

    For an attack to be successful, a user must open a specially crafted Journal file with an affected version of Windows Journal. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerabilities by sending a specially crafted Journal file to the user and by convincing the user to open the file. The update addresses the vulnerabilities by correcting how Windows Journal manages objects in memory.

    The following table contains links to the standard entry for each vulnerability in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list:

    Vulnerability title CVE number Publicly disclosed Exploited
    Windows Journal DoS Vulnerability CVE-2015-2514 No No
    Windows Journal DoS Vulnerability CVE-2015-2516 No No

Mitigating Factors

Microsoft has not identified any mitigating factors for this vulnerability.

Workarounds

The following workarounds may be helpful in your situation:

  • Do not open Windows Journal (.jnt) files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources
    Do not open Windows Journal (.jnt) 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.

    • Remove the .jnt file type association

      Interactive Method:

      Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

      To remove the .jnt file type association using the interactive method, follow these steps:

      1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
      2. Expand HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT, click jntfile, and then click the File menu and select Export.
      3. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type jntfile HKCR file association registry backup.reg and click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
      4. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.
      5. Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER, then Software, then Microsoft, then Windows, then CurrentVersion, then Explorer, and then FileExts.
      6. Click .jnt and then click the File menu and select Export.
      7. In the Export Registry File dialog box, type .jntHKCU file association registry backup.reg and then click Save. This will create a backup of this registry key in the My Documents folder by default.
      8. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the registry key. When prompted to delete the registry value, click Yes.

Using a Managed Script:

Note Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk. For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys And Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or view the "Add and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in Regedt32.exe.

To remove the .jnt file type association using an interactive, managed script, follow these steps:

  1. First make a backup copy of the registry keys using a managed deployment script with the following commands:

    Regedit.exe /s Delete_jnt_file_association.reg  
    Regedit.exe /e jnt_HKCU_registry_backup.reg HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt
    
    1. Next save the following to a file with a .reg extension (e.g., Delete_jnt_file_association.reg):

      Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00  
      [-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\jntfile]  
      [-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.jnt]
      
    2. Run the above registry script created in step 2 on the target machine with the following command:

      Regedit.exe /s Delete_jnt_file_association.reg
      

Impact of workaround. Double-clicking a .jnt file will no longer launch journal.exe.

How to undo the workaround: Restore the registry key by using Registry Editor to restore the settings saved in the .REG files.

  • Remove Windows Journal by disabling the Windows feature that installs it

    On Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Programs.
    2. Click Turn Windows Features on or off and then clear the check box for either Tablet PC Optional Components (Windows Vista systems) or Tablet PC Components (Windows 7 systems).
    3. Click OK.
**Impact of workaround.** Windows Journal is removed from the system.

**How to undo the workaround:**

To reinstall Windows Journal on Windows Vista or Windows 7 systems, follow these steps:

1. Click **Start**, click **Control Panel**, and then click **Programs**.  
2. Click **Turn Windows Features on or off** and then select the check box for either **Tablet PC Optional Components** (Windows Vista systems) or **Tablet PC Components** (Windows 7 systems).  
3. Click **OK**.
  • Deny access to Journal.exe
    To deny access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

    > takeown.exe /f "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe"  
    > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /deny everyone:(F)
    

    Impact of workaround. Windows Journal becomes inaccessible.

    How to undo the workaround:

    To reinstate access to Journal.exe, enter the following commands at an administrative command prompt:

    > icacls.exe "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Journal\Journal.exe" /remove:d everyone
    

Security Update Deployment

For Security Update Deployment information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article referenced here in the Executive Summary.

Acknowledgments

Microsoft recognizes the efforts of those in the security community who help us protect customers through coordinated vulnerability disclosure. See Acknowledgments for more information.

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 (September 8, 2015): Bulletin published.
  • V1.1 (September 23, 2015): Bulletin revised to correct the severity and impact for CVE-2015-2514. This is an informational change only. Customers who have already successfully installed the update do not need to take any action.

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