Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-020)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2015-023
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Subject: 
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS15-020)
Overview: 

Vulnerabilities have been discovered within Microsoft Windows that could allow for remote code execution if an attacker successfully convinces a user to browse to a specially crafted website, open a specially crafted file, or open a file in a working directory that contains a specially crafted DLL file.

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: 
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server Core
  • Windows RT
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
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: 

Two vulnerabilities have been privately reported in Microsoft Windows that could allow remote code execution.

  • A remote code execution exists in Windows Text Services when it improperly handles objects in memory. This vulnerability may be exploited if an attacker convinces a user to open a specially crafted website or file. (CVE-2015-0081)
  • A remote code execution exists in Microsoft Windows when DLL files are improperly handled. This vulnerability may be exploited if an attacker convinces a user to open a file in the same directory as a specially crafted DLL file. (CVE-2015-0096)

Successful exploitation could allow an attacker to gain 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 appropriate patches or workaround provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Do not visit untrusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Consider implementing file extension whitelists for allowed e-mail attachments.