Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office Web Apps Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS14-081)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2014-108
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Subject: 
Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office Web Apps Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS14-081)
Overview: 

Vulnerabilities have been discovered in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Office Web Apps which could allow remote code execution if an attacker convinces a user to open or preview a specially crafted Microsoft Word file in an affected version of Microsoft Office software. Successful exploitation of these vulnerabilities could result in an attacker gaining the same privileges as the user running the affected application. 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 Word 2010
  • Microsoft Office 2013 
  • Microsoft Office 2013 RT
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2011
  • Microsoft Word Viewer
  • Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack,
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010,
  • Microsoft SharePoint 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: 

These remote code execution vulnerabilities are caused when Microsoft Word does not properly handle objects in memory while parsing specially crafted Office files.

Successful exploitation could result in the attacker gaining the same user rights as the current 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 patch provided by Microsoft to vulnerable systems immediately after appropriate testing.
  • Remind users not to visit un-trusted websites or follow links provided by unknown or un-trusted sources.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to open email attachments from unknown users or suspicious emails from trusted sources.