Vulnerability in Microsoft Publisher Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2950145)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2014-034
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Subject: 
Vulnerability in Microsoft Publisher Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2950145)
Overview: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Publisher that could allow remote code execution. Microsoft Publisher, a component of Microsoft Office, is an application that allows users to create marketing materials and other types of publications. Exploitation may occur if a user opens a specially crafted Publisher file. This file may be received as an email attachment, or downloaded via the web. Successful exploitation may result in an attacker gaining 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.

Systems Affected: 
  • Microsoft Office 2003
  • Microsoft Office 2007
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: 

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Publisher, which could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. This vulnerability may be exploited if a user visits a specially crafted web page or opens a specially crafted Publisher file that was designed to take advantage of this vulnerability. This vulnerability are caused by Microsoft Publisher failing to properly handle values in memory when parsing Publisher files. Successful exploitation may result in an attacker gaining 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.
  • 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.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
References: 
Microsoft:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms14-020
CVE:
http://www.cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvename.cgi?name=CVE-2014-1759