[NT] Vulnerability in Microsoft Project Allows Code Execution (MS08-018)



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Vulnerability in Microsoft Project Allows Code Execution (MS08-018)
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SUMMARY

This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in
Microsoft Office Project that could allow remote code execution if a user
opens a specially crafted Project file. An attacker who successfully
exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an 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.

This security update is rated Critical for Microsoft Project 2000 Service
Release 1 and rated Important for Microsoft Project 2002 Service Pack 1,
and Microsoft Office Project 2003 Service Pack 2. For more information,
see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.

DETAILS

Affected Software:
Office Software - Maximum Security Impact - Aggregate Severity Rating -
Bulletins Replaced by this Update
*
<http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=fbe46241-b9da-40c6-803d-42eb6234be77> Microsoft Project 2000 Service Release 1 (KB949043) - Remote Code Execution - Critical - None
*
<http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=07a90718-6597-426d-9dca-a336d60c01b8> Microsoft Project 2002 Service Pack 1 (KB949005) - Remote Code Execution - Important - None
*
<http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=aaba07d6-e972-4e85-bccd-406aa2c4a4f4> Microsoft Project 2003 Service Pack 2 (KB948962) - Remote Code Execution - Important - None

Non-Affected Software:
* Office and Other Software
* Microsoft Project Server 2003
* Microsoft Project Server 2003 Service Pack 3
* Microsoft Project 2007
* Microsoft Project 2007 Service Pack 1
* Microsoft Project Portfolio Server 2007
* Microsoft Project Server 2007

Project Memory Validation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1088
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way Microsoft Project
handles specially crafted Project files. An attacker could exploit the
vulnerability by sending a malformed file which could be included as an
e-mail attachment, or hosted on a specially crafted or compromised Web
site.

If a user were logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who
successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of
an 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 affected than users who operate with administrative user rights.

CVE Information:
<http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2008-1088>
CVE-2008-1088

Mitigating Factors for Project Memory Validation Vulnerability -
CVE-2008-1088
Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general
best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity
of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may
be helpful in your situation:

* In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that
contains a Web page that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In
addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host
user-provided content or advertisements could contain specially crafted
content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an
attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites.
Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site,
typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant
Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.

* An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain
the same user rights as the local user. 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.

* The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For
an attack to be successful, a user must open an attachment that is sent in
an e-mail message.

* Users who have installed and are using the Office Document Open
Confirmation Tool for Office 2000 will be prompted with Open, Save, or
Cancel before opening a document. The features of the Office Document Open
Confirmation Tool are incorporated in Office XP and later editions of
Office.

Workarounds for Project Memory Validation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1088
Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not
correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack
vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following
workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces
functionality:

* Do not open or save Microsoft Office 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.

FAQ for Project Memory Validation Vulnerability - CVE-2008-1088
What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who
successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of
an affected system remotely. An attacker could then install programs or
view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user
rights.

What causes the vulnerability?
Microsoft Project does not properly validate memory resource allocations
when opening Project files.

What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run
arbitrary code as the logged-on user. If a user is logged on with
administrative user rights, an attacker could take complete 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.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
This vulnerability requires that a user open a malformed Project file with
an affected version of Microsoft Project.

* In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the
vulnerability by sending a malformed Project file to the user and by
convincing the user to open the file.

* In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web
site that contains an Office file that is used to attempt to exploit this
vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that
accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted
content that could exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no
way to force users to visit a specially crafted Web site. Instead, an
attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by
getting them to click a link that takes them to the attacker's site.

What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Systems where Microsoft Project is used are primarily at risk. Servers
could be at more risk if administrators allow users to log on to servers
and to run programs. However, best practices strongly discourage allowing
this.

What does the update do?
The update removes the vulnerability by modifying the way that Microsoft
Project validates memory allocations when opening Project files from disk
to memory.

When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been
publicly disclosed?
No. Microsoft received information about this vulnerability through
responsible disclosure. Microsoft had not received any information to
indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly disclosed when this
security bulletin was originally issued. This security bulletin addresses
the privately disclosed vulnerability as well as additional issues
discovered through internal investigations.

When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports
that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this
vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers and had not seen
any examples of proof of concept code published when this security
bulletin was originally issued.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The information has been provided by Microsoft Product Security.
The original article can be found at:
<http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-018.mspx>
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS08-018.mspx



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