Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Russ McRee

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Microsoft Security Bulletin MS06-054

Published: 2006-09-13
Last Updated: 2006-09-13 01:36:20 UTC
by Michael Haisley (Version: 2)
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A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Publisher. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability when Publisher parses a file with a malformed string.

If a user were logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less affected than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Mitigating Factors:
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker would have to host a Web site that contains a Publisher file that is used to attempt to exploit this vulnerability. In addition, compromised Web sites and Web sites that accept or host user-provided content could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability An attacker would have no way to force users to visit a malicious Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to persuade them to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link that takes them to the attacker's site.

The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful a user must open an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.

Users who have installed and are using the Office Document Open Confirmation Tool for Office 2000 will be prompted with Open, Save, or Cancel before opening a document.

By default, Publisher is only installed on the Professional Suites of Office.

Recommendation: If you use publisher, patch now, consider limiting user rights for day-to-day use, even for those that need administrative access.
Keywords: microsoft
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