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iDEFENSE Security Advisory 2007-05-08.2

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 2007-05-08.2
Posted May 10, 2007
Authored by iDefense Labs, Greg MacManus | Site idefense.com

iDefense Security Advisory 05.08.07 - Remote exploitation of an input validation error in the handling of AutoFilter records in Excel BIFF8 format spreadsheet files by Microsoft Corp.'s Excel 2003 could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. The AutoFilter feature of Excel allows data not matching a specified criteria to be filtered out. By creating a document containing a specially crafted filter record, an attacker is able to cause an invalid memory access leading to arbitrary code execution. iDefense has confirmed Microsoft Excel 2003 is vulnerable. Previous versions are also likely to be affected. Excel 2007 does not appear to be vulnerable.

tags | advisory, remote, arbitrary, code execution
advisories | CVE-2007-1214
SHA-256 | 75710def3d9c5022a17b416ac6a211ffd7e4f5fb82a2f997d69c714db1c01853

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 2007-05-08.2

Change Mirror Download
Microsoft Excel Filter Record Code Execution Vulnerability

iDefense Security Advisory 05.08.07
http://labs.idefense.com/intelligence/vulnerabilities/
May 08, 2007

I. BACKGROUND

Microsoft Excel is the spreadsheet application from the Microsoft Office
System. More information is available at the following URL.

http://office.microsoft.com/

II. DESCRIPTION

Remote exploitation of an input validation error in the handling of
AutoFilter records in Excel BIFF8 format spreadsheet files by Microsoft
Corp.'s Excel 2003 could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in
the context of the current user.

The AutoFilter feature of Excel allows data not matching a specified
criteria to be filtered out. By creating a document containing a
specially crafted filter record, an attacker is able to cause an
invalid memory access leading to arbitrary code execution.

III. ANALYSIS

Exploitation allows attackers to execute arbitrary code in the context
of the user who started Excel.

Exploitation requires that attackers social engineer users into opening
a maliciously crafted file in Excel. Reliable exploitation appears to
require knowledge of the specific version of Excel being used. Likely
attack vectors include sending the file as an e-mail attachment or
linking to the file on a website.

By default systems with Office 2000 installed open Office documents,
including Excel spreadsheet files, from websites without prompting the
user, which allows attackers to exploit this vulnerability without user
interaction. Later versions of Office do not open these documents
automatically unless the user has chosen this behavior.

Enabling hardware DEP (data execution prevention) on systems that
support it (i.e., Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 on hardware
with AMD processors that support NX or Intel processors supporting XD)
mitigates this vulnerability. The hardware DEP feature prevents code
from being executed from areas of memory that do not have the
'executable' bit set. While it may be possible for attackers to bypass
this restriction, it can prevent some typical exploitation methods.

IV. DETECTION

iDefense has confirmed Microsoft Excel 2003 is vulnerable. Previous
versions are also likely to be affected. Excel 2007 does not appear to
be vulnerable.

V. WORKAROUND

iDefense is currently unaware of an effective workarounds for this
issue.

VI. VENDOR RESPONSE

Microsoft has addressed this vulnerability within MS07-023. For more
information, consult their bulletin at the following URL.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS07-023.mspx

VII. CVE INFORMATION

The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2007-1214 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for
security problems.

VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE

02/08/2007 Initial vendor notification
02/08/2007 Initial vendor response
05/08/2007 Coordinated public disclosure

IX. CREDIT

This vulnerability was discovered by Greg MacManus (iDefense Labs).

Get paid for vulnerability research
http://labs.idefense.com/methodology/vulnerability/vcp.php

Free tools, research and upcoming events
http://labs.idefense.com/

X. LEGAL NOTICES

Copyright © 2007 iDefense, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDefense. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically,
please e-mail customerservice@idefense.com for permission.

Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.
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