Microsoft issued fixes for two critical security bugs as part of this month's Patch Tuesday. Arguably the most serious of the flaws impacts Visual Basic for Applications.
Microsoft issued two critical security bulletins today as part of this month's Patch Tuesday.
The release comes a month after the biggest Patch Tuesday of the year, which took aim at 25 bugs
. Today's update addresses two bugs; one a vulnerability in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, and the other a vulnerability impacting
Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail.
Both vulnerabilities are rated critical and can leave users open to remote code execution by attackers.
"I've put the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA
vulnerability first on my list," said Joshua Talbot, security
intelligence manager at Symantec Security Response. "Both
vulnerabilities require social engineering to exploit, but the VBA
vulnerability requires less action from a user. For instance, an
attacker would simply have to convince a user to open a maliciously
crafted file-likely an Office document-which supports VBA and the
user's machine would be compromised. I can see this being used in
targeted attacks, which are on the rise."
Microsoft VBA is used to develop client desktop packaged
applications and integrate them with existing data and systems.
According to Microsoft, the vulnerability is due to the way VBA
searches for ActiveX controls in a VBA-supported document. As a result,
it is possible for a host application to pass a specially crafted
document with embedded ActiveX controls to the VBA runtime and create a
condition where arbitrary could run.
The other vulnerability is caused when a common library used by
Outlook Express and Windows Mail insufficiently validates network data
before using that data to calculate the necessary size of a buffer.
"An attempt to exploit the vulnerability would not require
authentication, allowing an attacker to exploit the vulnerability by
sending a specially crafted response to a client initiating a
connection to a server under his control using the common mail
protocols POP3 and IMAP," Microsoft warned.
Missing from today's patch lineup is a fix for a cross-site scripting flaw
affecting Office SharePoint 2007 and Windows SharePoint
Services 3.0 first reported April 28. The SharePoint
vulnerability permits escalation of privileges within the SharePoint
site. If successfully exploited, the bug allows an attacker to run
commands against the SharePoint server with the privileges of the
Microsoft recommends users concerned about the issue implement the workaround contained in the advisory issued April 29