Vulnerability in XML Core Services Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS14-067)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2014-097
Date(s) Issued: 
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Subject: 
Vulnerability in XML Core Services Could Allow Remote Code Execution (MS14-067)
Overview: 

Microsoft has released a patch that fixes a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft's XML Core Services. Microsoft's XML Core Services allow developers using JScript, Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) and Microsoft Visual Studio 6.0 to develop XML-based applications.

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.

Systems Affected: 

Microsoft Windows Vista and above
Microsoft Server 2003 and above
Microsoft Server Core Installation options

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: 

Microsoft has released a patch that fixes a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft's XML Core Services. This vulnerability exists when Microsoft's XML Core Services improperly parses XML content, which could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code. An attacker could exploit the vulnerability by hosting a specially crafted website that is designed to invoke MSXML through Internet Explorer. This can also include compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. These websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these websites. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger request that takes users to the attacker's website. It could also be possible to display specially crafted web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver web content to affected systems.

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.