Remote code execution in Microsoft Excel



Published: 2009-02-23 | Updated: 2016-12-20
Risk Critical
Patch available YES
Number of vulnerabilities 1
CVE ID CVE-2009-0238
CWE ID CWE-119
Exploitation vector Network
Public exploit This vulnerability is being exploited in the wild.
Vulnerable software
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Microsoft Office
Client/Desktop applications / Office applications

Microsoft Excel
Client/Desktop applications / Office applications

Microsoft Office for Mac
Client/Desktop applications / Office applications

Excel Viewer
Client/Desktop applications / Office applications

Vendor Microsoft

Security Advisory

This security advisory describes one critical risk vulnerability.

1) Memory corruption

Risk: Critical

CVSSv3: 8.9 [CVSS:3.0/AV:N/AC:L/PR:N/UI:R/S:C/C:H/I:H/A:H/E:F/RL:O/RC:C] [PCI]

CVE-ID: CVE-2009-0238

CWE-ID: CWE-119 - Improper Restriction of Operations within the Bounds of a Memory Buffer

Exploit availability: No

Description

The vulnerability allows a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

The weakness exists due to boundary error when parsing the Excel spreadsheet file format. A remote attacker can create a specially crafted Excel file containing a malformed object, trick the victim into opening it, trigger memory corruption and execute arbitrary code on the target system with privileges of the current user.

Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in arbitrary code execution on the vulnerable system.

Note: this vulnerability was being actively exploited.

Mitigation

Install update from vendor's website:

Microsoft Office Excel 2000 Service Pack 3:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3dc8b670-25a5-4f46-b7de-12bc693b628a
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Excel 2002 Service Pack 3:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=9a52bf4b-05f6-4b73-94b9-28ed7e20f86c
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Service Pack 3:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=d9dbfa63-c0cb-4c84-9b8a-6e52568045b0
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Service Pack 1:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=50d8630b-1365-4007-81a0-18c0d6d4b86e
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=52271140-89be-4b9c-baa2-cea09097d703
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=f6e407eb-11a5-433f-8006-4b822953ca98
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Excel Viewer 2003 Service Pack 3:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=c72e6087-b48f-4d2d-8366-01d9f5ff6b6c
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Excel Viewer:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=58b3929c-5373-47a4-aa97-66d179758792
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481
Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats Service Pack 1:
https://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=05f7c517-e551-4dcd-b24a-5d548f2d09cf
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=131481

Vulnerable software versions

Microsoft Office: 2007

Microsoft Excel: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007

Microsoft Office for Mac: 2004, 2008

Excel Viewer: 2003

CPE External links

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms09-009.aspx

Q & A

Can this vulnerability be exploited remotely?

Yes. This vulnerability can be exploited by a remote non-authenticated attacker via the Internet.

How the attacker can exploit this vulnerability?

The attacker would have to trick the victim to visit a specially crafted website or open an attachment in an e-mail message.

Is there known malware, which exploits this vulnerability?

No. We are not aware of malware exploiting this vulnerability. However, a fully functional exploit for this vulnerability is available.



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