Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CVE-2014-1761, Oh did you mean CVE-2012-2539?

When the VRT first received word of a new Microsoft Word 0-day I anxiously awaited details and the ever important hash of the in-the-wild exploit to be able to research it and provide coverage through Snort, ClamAV and the FireAmp suite of products. I was especially interested when word came that it was an RTF vulnerability, as I have spent a lot of time looking at high profile RTF vulnerabilities such as the ever popular CVE-2012-0158.

When the in the wild sample finally arrived I thought someone was playing an early April Fool's joke on us: I knew this vulnerability already. More than that, I had written the coverage for this almost a year and half ago! The vulnerability appeared to be CVE-2012-2539, which was released December 11th 2012 as Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-079. I checked blogs, looked for any mistakes in the hash I had gotten but, no, this WAS the dreaded vulnerability that prompted Yahoo Finance to tell everyone not to open any RTF files. So I did some searching in my old research and found that I had written Snort rules 24974 and 24975 way back in December of 2012 for this vulnerability. The release posts on Snort.org's blog confirmed this (blog|rule changes). The rule even specifies the vulnerable element of the RTF specification, listoverridecount, in the message.

I enjoyed this hilarious state of affairs and we kept it to ourselves until someone else found it out, for dramatic effect if you will. Lo and behold, this week's blog posts by other security vendors popped up, pointing to listoverridecount as the exploitation vector. This confirmed what we already knew, that this vulnerability was centered around the listoverridecount value. The blog posts rightly deduced that the only legal values for this element are 0, 1 or 9 and other values could cause a crash. Our detection on both Snort and ClamAV already detected that. Interestingly though, there seems to be some programs that generate RTF out there that can generate values for listoverridecount that are not 0, 1 or 9, as we found out when someone submitted a sample to ClamAV that has the SHA256 hash:


as a potential false positive for the a signature we have to detect attacks leveraging CVE-2012-2539.

ClamAV was the only vendor to detect it before we decided it was prudent to turn the signature into a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) signature since no one seemed to be exploiting it actively. The Snort rules have now been updated with new references and a non PUA ClamAV signature that references CVE-2014-1761 has gone out (I can only hope that alternate RTF generators stop using invalid values in their listoverridecounts).

All in all this 0-day has been a little bit disappointing since it was a rehash of a known vulnerability we already covered, but what I can console myself with is the fact that someone, somewhere is probably majorly annoyed because the exploit they built or bought is not working against Sourcefire/CISCO customers!

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