Vulnerability Note VU#936945

Microsoft PowerPoint does not properly handle malformed shapes

Original Release date: 14 Jul 2006 | Last revised: 05 Oct 2006


Microsoft PowerPoint contains a vulnerability that may allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.


Microsoft PowerPoint contains a vulnerability that could be exploited when PowerPoint opens a specially crafted document. According to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-048, "The vulnerability is caused when PowerPoint opens a specially crafted PowerPoint file and parses a malformed shape. This vulnerability affects both Windows and Mac versions of PowerPoint.


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. Depending on the version and patch level of PowerPoint, this vulnerability may cause PowerPoint to crash.


Apply an update

This vulnerability is addressed by the updates documented in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-048.

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.

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-05 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



Microsoft credits Elia Florio of Symantec, Dejun Meng of the Fortinet Security Research Team, and Shih-hao Weng of Information & Communication Security Technology Center for reporting the Microsoft PowerPoint Mso.dll Vulnerability.

This document was written by Will Dormann.

Other Information

  • CVE IDs: CVE-2006-3590
  • Date Public: 13 Jul 2006
  • Date First Published: 14 Jul 2006
  • Date Last Updated: 05 Oct 2006
  • Severity Metric: 22.49
  • Document Revision: 13


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