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Category:   Application (Generic)  >   Microsoft Word Vendors:   Microsoft
Microsoft Word May Execute Macros in Malformed Word Documents Without Warning Even if Macros are Disabled
SecurityTracker Alert ID:  1001815
SecurityTracker URL:  http://securitytracker.com/id/1001815
CVE Reference:   CVE-2001-0501   (Links to External Site)
Date:  Jun 22 2001
Impact:   Execution of arbitrary code via network
Fix Available:  Yes  Vendor Confirmed:  Yes  
Version(s): Word 2002, Word 2000, Word 97, Word 98 (J), Word 2001 for Macintosh, Word 98 for Macintosh
Description:   A vulnerability was reported in Microsoft Word's macro security feature. The security hole allows a malformed Word document to execute a macro when opened, regardless of the user's Word macro security settings.

Microsoft reports that Word will scan a document for macros any time the document is opened. If found, the macros are processed according to the user's macro security settings. However, if a specially crafted (and malformed) Word document is created, it is possible to include a macro that will not be recognized by the security scanner but will still execute when opened.

A macro would be able to take any action that the user could take.

Impact:   A remote user could create a malformed Word document containing a Macro such that the Macro is not recognized by Word's macro security feature but can still be executed. When a user opens this Word document, the Macro will be executed without warning, regardless of the user's Word macro security settings.
Solution:   The vendor has released a patch. See the Vendor URL for information on obtaining the appropriate patch.
Vendor URL:  www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-034.asp (Links to External Site)
Cause:   State 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 MS01-034


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:      Malformed Word Document Could Enable Macro to 
            Run Automatically
Date:       21 June 2001
Software:   Word
Impact:     Run macro without warning
Bulletin:   MS01-034

Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at: 
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-034.asp.
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Issue:
======
Word, like other members of the Office product family, provides a 
security mechanism that requires the user's approval to run macros.
By 
design, any time a document is opened Word scans it for macros. If
any 
are found, they are handled in accordance with user's selected
security 
settings. By default in Word 2000 and 2002, only macros that are
signed 
by a trusted party are enabled; all others are disabled. In Word 97,
if 
the document contains macros, the user is prompted regarding whether
to 
enable them or disable them. 

A vulnerability results because it is possible to modify a Word 
document in such a way as to prevent the security scanner from 
recognizing an embedded macro while still allowing it to execute. 
Exploiting the vulnerability would enable an attacker to cause a
macro 
to run automatically when such a document was opened. Such a 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. 
 - Customers using the Outlook E-mail Security Update 
   (which is included as part of Word 2002) will be protected 
   from any worm viruses contained in Word documents. 

Patch Availability:
===================
 - A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the 
   Security Bulletin
   http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms01-034.asp
   for information on obtaining this patch.

Acknowledgment:
===============
 - Steven McLeod (stevenmcleod@hotmail.com)

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

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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