Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (MS16-148)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2016-211
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Subject: 
Multiple Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (MS16-148)
Overview: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft Office, the most severe of which could result in remote code execution if the user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file. Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, 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 those who operate with administrative user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, 2013, 2013 RT, 2016
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, Office 2016 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack SP3
  • Microsoft Word Viewer
  • Microsoft Excel Viewer
  • Microsoft Auto Updater for Mac
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007, 2010
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft Office, the most severe of which could result in remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Microsoft Office file. The software updates in this security bulletin replace previous updates for Microsoft Office products contained in the following security bulletins: MS14-036, MS15-116, MS16-107, and MS16-133.

  • Multiple memory corruption vulnerabilities exist in Microsoft Office software when the Office software fails to properly handle objects in memory. (CVE-2016-7263, CVE-2016-7277, CVE-2016-7289, CVE-2016-7298)
  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists when Microsoft Office improperly validates input before loading libraries. (CVE-2016-7275)
  • A security feature bypass vulnerability exists when Microsoft Office when the Office software improperly handles the parsing of file formats. (CVE-2016-7267)
  • A security feature bypass vulnerability exists when Microsoft Office improperly handles input. (CVE-2016-7262)
  • A security feature bypass vulnerability exists when Microsoft Office improperly checks registry settings when an attempt is made to run embedded content. (CVE-2016-7266)
  • An information disclosure vulnerability exists when Microsoft Office fails to properly handle objects in memory, allowing an attacker to retrieve information that could lead to an Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) bypass. (CVE-2016-7257)
  • Multiple information disclosure vulnerabilities exist when Microsoft Office reads out of bound memory, which could disclose the contents of memory. (CVE-2016-7264, CVE-2016-7265, CVE-2016-7268, CVE-2016-7276, CVE-2016-7290, CVE-2016-7291)
  • An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists when the Microsoft Auto Update (MAU) application for Mac improperly validates updates before executing them. (CVE-2016-7300)

Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the logged on user. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, 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 those who operate with administrative user rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, immediately apply patches provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.

  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.

  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments, especially those from un-trusted sources.

  • Apply the principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.