Vulnerability Note VU#187028

Microsoft PowerPoint fails to properly handle malformed object pointers

Original Release date: 10 Oct 2006 | Last revised: 11 Oct 2006

Overview

Microsoft PowerPoint contains a vulnerability in the handling of malformed object pointers, which may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

Description

Microsoft PowerPoint contains a vulnerability that could be exploited when PowerPoint opens a specially crafted document. The vulnerability is caused by incorrect handling of malformed object pointers. This vulnerability affects both Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint.

Impact

By convincing a user to open a specially crafted PowerPoint document, an attacker could execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running PowerPoint. If the user is logged in with administrative privileges, the attacker could take complete control of a vulnerable system. This vulnerability may also cause PowerPoint to crash.

Solution

Apply an update

This vulnerability is addressed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-058.


Do not open untrusted PowerPoint documents

Do not open unfamiliar or unexpected PowerPoint or other Office documents, particularly those hosted on web sites or delivered as email attachments. Please see Cyber Security Tip ST04-010.

Disable automatic opening of PowerPoint documents

By default, PowerPoint 97 and PowerPoint 2000 will configure Internet Explorer to automatically open PowerPoint documents. This feature can be disabled by using the Office Document Open Confirmation Tool. Mozilla Firefox users should disable automatic opening of files, as specified in the Securing Your Web Browser document.

Do not rely on file name extension filtering

In most cases, Windows will call PowerPoint to open a document even if the document has an unknown file extension. For example, if presentation.qwer contains the correct file header information, Windows will open presentation.qwer with PowerPoint. Filtering for common extensions (e.g., .ppt, .pot, and .pps) will not detect all PowerPoint documents. Additionally, a PowerPoint file with no file extension will also open with the PowerPoint application.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Microsoft CorporationAffected-10 Oct 2006
If you are a vendor and your product is affected, let us know.

CVSS Metrics (Learn More)

Group Score Vector
Base N/A N/A
Temporal N/A N/A
Environmental N/A N/A

References

Credit

This vulnerability was reported by Microsoft, who in turn credit Arnaud Dovi.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2006-3435
  • Date Public: 10 Oct 2006
  • Date First Published: 10 Oct 2006
  • Date Last Updated: 11 Oct 2006
  • Severity Metric: 25.82
  • Document Revision: 6

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