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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Microsoft Word Vendors:   Microsoft
Microsoft Word for Windows and for Mac May Run Macros Linked By RTF Documents Without Warning
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001587
SecurityTracker URL:  http://securitytracker.com/id/1001587
CVE Reference:   CVE-2001-0240   (Links to External Site)
Date:  May 21 2001
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network, Modification of user information
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): Microsoft Word 97, Word 2000, Word 98 (J), Word 98 for the Mac, Word 2001 for the Mac
Description:   Microsoft issued an advisory for their Microsoft Word word processing program, warning that it may execute macros without warning.

The vendor reports that Word provides a security mechanism that requires user's approval to run macros. However, this mechanism can be defeated by a remote user if that user embedds a macro within a template and then creates an RTF document that links to the template.

The remote user's macro would reportedly be able to perform any action that the user could perform, including modification of Word's security settings so that subsequently opened Word documents would no longer be checked for macros.

The vendor reports that Microsoft Word 2002 is not affected by this vulnerability.

Impact:   A remote user could cause a Word macro to be executed when an RTF document is openened. This macro could perform any action that the user could perform.
Solution:   The vendor has released a patch. Please see the Vendor URL for directions on obtaining and applying the patch.
Vendor URL:  www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-028.asp (Links to External Site)
Cause:   Access control error
Underlying OS:  Apple (Legacy "classic" Mac), Windows (Me), Windows (NT), Windows (95), Windows (98), Windows (2000)

Message History:   None.


 Source Message Contents

Subject:  Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-028


The following is a Security  Bulletin from the Microsoft Product Security
Notification Service.

Please do not  reply to this message,  as it was sent  from an unattended
mailbox.
                    ********************************

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Title:      RTF document linked to template can run macros without
            warning
Date:       21 May 2001
Software:   Microsoft Word for Windows and Word for the Mac
Impact:     Run Macros without warning
Bulletin:   MS01-028

Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at: 
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-028.asp.
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Issue:
======
Word, like other members of the Office product family, provides a 
security mechanism that requires user's approval to run macros. By 
design, anytime a document is opened the user would be notified if
the 
document contains macros. In addition, this mechanism checks
secondary 
documents that the original document links to, such as templates, and
warn if any of those contain macros. This feature works by scanning
the 
document or template for the presence of macros, alerting the user of
their presence, and then asking the user if he wants to allow the 
macros to run.
 
By embedding a macro in a template, and providing another user with
an 
RTF document that links to it, an attacker could cause a macro to run
automatically when the RTF document was opened. The macro would be
able 
to take any action that the user herself could take. This could
include 
disabling the user's Word security settings so that
subsequently-opened 
Word documents would no longer be checked for macros. 

Mitigating Factors:
====================
 - The vulnerability only affects Word. Other Office products are not
   affected. 
 - The vulnerability does not occur when opening Word documents, only
   when opening RTF documents, and even then only when the RTF
document
   is linked to a template. 

Patch Availability:
===================
 - A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the 
   Security Bulletin
   http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-028.asp
   for information on obtaining this patch.

- ---------------------------------------------------------------------

THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THE MICROSOFT KNOWLEDGE BASE IS PROVIDED 
"AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT DISCLAIMS ALL 
WARRANTIES, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE WARRANTIES OF 
MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT
SHALL 
MICROSOFT CORPORATION OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES 
WHATSOEVER INCLUDING DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL,
LOSS 
OF BUSINESS PROFITS OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF MICROSOFT CORPORATION
OR ITS SUPPLIERS HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGES. 
SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR
CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES SO THE FOREGOING LIMITATION MAY
NOT 
APPLY.



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