Computer Terrorism (UK) :: Incident Response Centre - Microsoft Publisher Font Parsing Vulnerability Sep 12 2006 06:59PM
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Security Advisory: CT12-09-2006-2.htm


Microsoft Publisher Font Parsing Vulnerability


Advisory Date: 12th, September 2006

Severity: Critical

Impact: Remote System Access

Solution Status: Vendor Patch

CVE Reference: CVE-2006-0001

Affected Software


Microsoft Publisher 2000 (Office 2000)

Microsoft Publisher 2002 (Office 2002)

Microsoft Publisher 2003 (Office 2003)



Microsoft Publisher is a lightweight desktop publishing (DTP) application bundled

with Microsoft Office Small Business and Professional. The application facilitates

the design of professional business and marketing communications via familiar Office

tools & functionality.

Unfortunately, it transpires that Microsoft Publisher is susceptible to a remote,

arbitrary code execution vulnerability that yields full system access running

in the context of a target user.



The vulnerability emanates from Publishers inability to perform sufficient data

validation when processing the contents of a .pub document. As a result, it is

possible to modify a .pub file in such a way that when opened will corrupt critical

system memory, allowing an attacker to execute code of his choice.

More specifically, the vulnerable condition is derived from an attacker controlled

string that facilitates an "extended" memory overwrite using portions of the original

.pub file.

As no checks are made on the length of the data being copied, the net result is

that of a classic "stack overflow" condition, in which EIP control is gained via

one of several return addresses.



As with most file orientated vulnerabilities, the aforementioned issue requires

a certain degree of social engineering to achieve successful exploitation.

However, users of Microsoft Publisher 2000 (Office 2000) are at an increased

risk due to the exploitability of the vulnerability in a possible web-based attack




The vendor security bulletin and corresponding patches are available at the

following location:




03/08/2005 Preliminary Vendor notification.

12/08/2005 Vulnerability confirmed by Vendor.

03/01/2006 Public Disclosure Deferred by Vendor.

11/07/2006 Public Disclosure Deferred by Vendor.

12/09/2006 Coordinated public release.

Total Time to Fix: 1 year, 1 month, 6 days (402 days)



The vulnerability was discovered by Stuart Pearson of Computer Terrorism (UK)


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