Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-046)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2015-055
Date(s) Issued: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Subject: 
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-046)
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 Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013, Microsoft Word 2013
  • Microsoft Office 2013 RT, Microsoft Excel 2013 RT, Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 RT, Microsoft Word 2013 RT
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, Microsoft Excel for Mac 2011, Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac 2011, Microsoft Word for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer
  • Word Automation Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Excel Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Word Automation Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Excel Services on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps 2010, Microsoft Excel Web App 2010
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps Server 2013
  • Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Microsoft SharePoint 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).

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.

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.