Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Vulnerability Spotlight: Remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Excel


Marcin “Icewall” Noga of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

Cisco Talos recently discovered a remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Excel. Microsoft disclosed this bug as part of their monthly security update Tuesday. This vulnerability exists in the component responsible for handling the “MicrosoftÆ Office HTML and XML” format introduced in Microsoft Office 2000. A specially crafted XLS file could lead to a user-after-free vulnerability and remote code execution. Microsoft released a patch for this vulnerability in this month's Patch Tuesday security update, which you can read more about here.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Microsoft to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.

Vulnerability details

Microsoft Office Excel WorksheetOptions code execution vulnerability (TALOS-2019-0886/CVE-2019-1448)

An exploitable use-after-free vulnerability exists in the mso.dll of Microsoft Office. A specially crafted XLS file can cause a use after free, resulting in remote code execution. An attacker needs to provide a malformed file to the victim to trigger the vulnerability.

Read the complete vulnerability advisory here for additional information.

Versions tested

Talos tested and confirmed that Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 x86 and Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus x86 are affected by this vulnerability.

Coverage

The following SNORTⓇ rules will detect exploitation attempts. Note that additional rules may be released at a future date and current rules are subject to change pending additional vulnerability information. For the most current rule information, please refer to your Firepower Management Center or Snort.org.

Snort Rules: 51123, 51124

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