Microsoft Word Documents May Execute Remotely Supplied Macro Code Under Certain Conditions
SecurityTracker Alert ID: 1004595|
SecurityTracker URL: http://securitytracker.com/id/1004595
(Links to External Site)
Date: Jun 19 2002
Execution of arbitrary code via local system|
Fix Available: Yes Vendor Confirmed: Yes |
Version(s): 2002; also Office 2000 and Office XP|
Microsoft reported a vulnerability in Microsoft Word. A remote user can create content including malicious macro code that, when loaded by the target user under certain conditions, will cause the macro code to be executed on the target user's host.|
Microsoft Word reportedly contains a new variant of the "Word Mail Merge" vulnerability first addressed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS00-071. A remote user could create a mail merge document that is saved in HTML format such that, when opened by a user that has Microsoft Access present on the system, could cause macro code to be executed automatically.
The Word mail merge document must have been saved in HTML format for this exploit to be successful. Also, the target user must choose to open the document in Word or acknowledge a security warning.
This hole enables a remote user to send content to a target user that, when opened (in accordance with the previously described restrictions), would run VBA Code in Microsoft Access.
Microsoft credits the dH team and SECURITY.NNOV team for reporting the Word mail merge vulnerability.
A remote user can create a malicious Word document that, when opened by a target (victim) user under certain conditions, will cause arbitrary macro code to be executed with the privileges of the target user. The code will be able to take any actions on the operating system acting as the user.|
The vendor has released a patch, available at the following locations.|
Office Product Updates site:
Microsoft Word 2002:
This patch can reportedly be installed on systems running Microsoft Office 2000 SP2 or Microsoft Office XP SP1. Microsoft plans to include the fix for these issues in Office XP SP2.
This patch supercedes MS02-021
Vendor URL: www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS02-031.asp (Links to External Site)
|Underlying OS: Windows (2000), Windows (XP)|
Source Message Contents
Subject: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-031: Cumulative Patches for Excel and Word for Windows (Q324458)|
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Title: Cumulative Patches for Excel and Word for Windows
Date: 19 June 2002
Software: Microsoft Office for Windows
Impact: Run Code of Attacker's Choice
Max Risk: Moderate
Microsoft encourages customers to review the Security Bulletin at:
This is a set of cumulative patches that, when applied, applies all
previously released fixes for these products.
In addition, these patches eliminate four newly discovered
vulnerabilities all of which could enable an attacker to run Macro
code on a user's machine. The attacker's macro code could take
any actions on the system that the user was able to.
- An Excel macro execution vulnerability that relates to how inline
macros that are associated with objects are handled. This
vulnerability could enable macros to execute and bypass the
Macro Security Model when the user clicked on an object in
- An Excel macro execution vulnerability that relates to how macros
are handled in workbooks when those workbooks are opened via a
hyperlink on a drawing shape. It is possible for macros in a
workbook so invoked to run automatically.
- An HTML script execution vulnerability that can occur when
an Excel workbook with an XSL Stylesheet that contains HTML
scripting is opened. The script within the XSL stylesheet
could be run in the local computer zone.
- A new variant of the "Word Mail Merge" vulnerability first
addressed in MS00-071. This new variant could enable an
attacker's macro code to run automatically if the user had
Microsoft Access present on the system and chose to open a
mail merge document that had been saved in HTML format.
Excel Inline Macros Vulnerability:
- A successful attack exploiting this vulnerability would require
that the user accept and open a workbook from an attacker and
then click on an object within the workbook.
Hyperlinked Excel Workbook Macro Bypass:
- A successful attempt to exploit this vulnerability would require
that the user accept and open an attacker's workbook and click on
a drawing shape with a hyperlink.
- An attacker's destination workbook would have to be accessible to
the user, either on the local system on an accessible network
Excel XSL Stylesheet Script Execution:
- A user would have to accept and open an attacker's workbook to
exploit this vulnerability.
- In addition, the user would have to acknowledge a security
warning by selecting the non-default option.
Variant of MS00-071, Word Mail Merge Vulnerability:
- The Word mail merge document would have to be saved in HTML
format. As Word is not the default handler for HTML
applications, the user would have to choose to open the document
in Word, or acknowledge a security warning.
- A successful attack requires that Access be installed locally.
- The attacker's data source has to be accessible to the user
across a network.
- Internet systems: Low
- Intranet systems: Low
- Client systems: Moderate
- A patch is available to fix this vulnerability. Please read the
Security Bulletin at
for information on obtaining this patch.
- Darryl Higa for reporting the Excel Inline Macros and
Hyperlinked Excel Workbook Macro Bypass vulnerabilities.
- The dH team and SECURITY.NNOV team (http://www.security.nnov.ru/)
for reporting the variant of MS00-071.
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