Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-022)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2015-025
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Subject: 
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-022)
Overview: 

Vulnerabilities have been discovered within Microsoft Office that could allow for remote code execution if a user opens a specially-crafted Microsoft Office file. Microsoft Office is an office suite of desktop applications, servers and services for both Microsoft Windows and Apple's OS X operating systems.

Successful exploitation 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 install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Microsoft Excel 2007, Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Word 2007
  • Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Word 2013
  • Microsoft Word Viewer, Microsoft Excel Viewer, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010, Word Automation Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2013, Excel Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft Web Applications 2010, Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2010, Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013, Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
High
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
High
Home Users: 
High
Description: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered within Microsoft Office that could allow for remote code execution. These vulnerabilities are the following:

  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists within Microsoft Office that is caused when Office software improperly handles objects in memory while parsing specially crafted Office files (CVE-2015-0085).
  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists within Microsoft office when Office software fails to properly handle rich text format files in memory (CVE-2015-0086).
  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists within Microsoft Office software that is caused when Office software improperly handles objects in memory while parsing specially crafted Office files (CVE-2015-0097)
  • Elevation of privilege vulnerabilities exist when SharePoint Server does not properly sanitize specially crafted requests to an affected SharePoint Server (CVE-2015-1633 and CVE-2015-1636).
Actions: 

We recommend the following actions be taken:

  • Apply the patch from Microsoft, as soon as one becomes available, after appropriate testing.
  • 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.
  • Remind users not to open email attachments from unknown users or suspicious emails from trusted sources.