- These vulnerabilities affect: Microsoft Office related products, including Word and Outlook
- How an attacker exploits them: Typically by enticing users to open or interact with maliciously crafted Office documents or email
- Impact: In the worst case, an attacker can gain complete control of your Windows computer
- What to do: Install the appropriate Microsoft patches as soon as possible, or let Windows Automatic Update do it for you.
Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins that fix four vulnerabilities in Word and Outlook. We summarize the bulletins below, in order from highest to lowest severity.
- MS13-091: Multiple Word Memory Corruption Vulnerabilities
Word is the popular word processor that ships with Office. It suffers from three memory corruption vulnerabilities having to do with how it handles malformed Word and WordPerfect files. They all differ technically, but share the same scope and impact. By luring one of your users into downloading and opening a malicious Word or WordPerfect document, an attacker can exploit any of these flaws to execute code on that user’s computer, with that user’s privileges. If your users have local administrator privileges, the attacker gains complete control of their PCs. These flaws affect all versions of Word except for Word for Mac.
Microsoft rating: Important
- MS13-094: Outlook S/MIME Information Disclosure Flaw
Outlook is the popular Windows email client that ships with Office. Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) is a standard for encrypting MIME data, or put more simply, it allows you to encrypt email. Outlook suffers from an information disclosure vulnerability involving the way it handles specially crafted S/MIME certificates. By convincing one of your users to open or preview a malicious email with a specially crafted S/MIME certification, an attacker could exploit this flaw to learn a bit about the victim system, including its IP address and the ports it listens on. However, the attacker could not leverage the flaw to compromise the victim system.
Microsoft rating: Important
Microsoft has released Office-related patches that correct all of these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate updates throughout your network as soon as possible. If you choose, you can also let Windows Update automatically download and install these updates for you.
The links below point directly to the “Affected and Non-Affected Software” section of each bulletin, where you can find all of Microsoft’s update links:
For All WatchGuard Users:
WatchGuard’s Gateway Antivirus and Intrusion Prevention services can often prevent some of these types of attacks, or the malware they try to distribute. Nonetheless, we still recommend you install Microsoft’s updates to completely protect yourself from these flaws.
Microsoft has released patches correcting these issues.
What did you think of this alert? Let us know at email@example.com.