Saturday, June 17, 2006

Microsoft Excel Vulnerability

Original release date: June 16, 2006
Last revised: --
Source: US-CERT

Systems Affected
* Microsoft Excel 2003
* Microsoft Excel XP (2002)
* Microsoft Excel for Mac
Microsoft Excel is included with Microsoft Office. Other versions of
Excel, and other Office programs may be affected or act as attack

An unspecified vulnerability in Microsoft Excel could allow an
attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system.

I. Description
Microsoft Excel contains an unspecified vulnerability. Opening a
specially crafted Excel document, including documents hosted on web
sites or attached to email messages, could trigger the vulnerability.
Office documents can contain embedded objects. For example, a
malicious Excel document could be embedded in an Word or PowerPoint
document. Office documents other than Excel documents could be used as
attack vectors.
For more information, please see Vulnerability Note VU#802324.

II. Impact
By convincing a user to open a specially crafted Excel document, an
attacker could execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system. If the
user has administrative privileges, the attacker could gain complete
control of the system.

III. Solution
At the time of writing, there is no complete solution available.
Consider the following workarounds:
Do not open untrusted Excel documents
Do not open unfamiliar or unexpected Excel or other Office documents,
including those received as email attachments or hosted on a web site.
Please see Cyber Security Tip ST04-010 for more information.
Do not rely on file extension filtering
In most cases, Windows will call Excel to open a document even if the
document has an unknown file extension. For example, if document.x1s
(note the digit "1") contains the correct file header information,
Windows will open document.x1s with Excel.

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