Vulnerability Note VU#295867

Microsoft Word does not adequately validate macros embedded within malformed Word documents

Original Release date: 27 Sep 2002 | Last revised: 27 Sep 2002

Overview

There is a vulnerability caused by a failure to detect macros embedded in Microsoft Word documents. This vulnerability may allow the author of a malicious document to execute arbitrary commands as the user who opens the document.

Description

Microsoft Word versions including Word 2002, Word 2000, Word 97, Word 98J, Word 98 for Macintosh and Word 2001 for Macintosh have a vulnerability involving the detection of macros. Macros embedded in specific malformed documents are not properly detected by Microsoft Word, even though they will execute when the document is opened.

In Office 2000 and later, there are three possible settings for the macro security. The macro executes even if the user's macro security setting is "High", which would normally prevent execution. If the user's macro security setting is "Medium", the user will fail to receive a warning dialog as expected before the macro executes. The "Low" macro security setting is not recommended, and would normally allow the execution of macros. In earlier versions of Office, the security settings may differ.

Impact

The author of a malicious document may be able to execute aribtrary commands as the user who opens the document.

Solution

Apply a Patch

Microsoft has published patches correcting this vulnerability. The patches are listed in their advisory at:


Note that the patches referenced in MS01-028 also correct this vulnerability for Word 2000, Word 97, Word 98J, Word 98 for Macintosh and Word 2001 for Macintosh.

Systems Affected (Learn More)

VendorStatusDate NotifiedDate Updated
Microsoft CorporationAffected-16 Jul 2002
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

Thanks to Steven McLeod for discovering this vulnerability.

This document was written by Cory F. Cohen.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CAN-2001-0501
  • Date Public: 21 Jun 2001
  • Date First Published: 27 Sep 2002
  • Date Last Updated: 27 Sep 2002
  • Severity Metric: 8.10
  • Document Revision: 9

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