Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows PDF Library Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (MS16-012)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2016-024
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Subject: 
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows PDF Library Could Allow for Remote Code Execution (MS16-012)
Overview: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft Windows PDF Library that could allow for remote code execution. 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 may install applications, view, change, or delete data or create new accounts with full user rights.

Systems Affected: 
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 and Server Core installations
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 reported in Microsoft Windows PDF Library. These vulnerabilities could allow for remote code execution. Details of these vulnerabilities are as follows:

  • A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows when a specially crafted file is opened in Windows Reader. (CVE-2016-0046)
  • A buffer overflow vulnerability exists in Microsoft Windows PDF Library when it improperly handles application programming interface (API) calls. (CVE-2016-0058)

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

Actions: 
  • Apply appropriate patches 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.