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Computer Terrorism (UK) :: Incident Response Centre - Microsoft Outlook Vulnerability
Date: Thu Jan 11 2007 - 06:53:22 CST
Computer Terrorism (UK) :: Incident Response Centre
Security Advisory: CT09-01-2007
Microsoft Outlook Advanced Find - Remote Code Execution
Advisory Date: 11th January 2007
Impact: Remote System Access
Solution Status: Vendor Patch
CVE Reference: CVE-2007-0034
Microsoft Outlook 2000
Microsoft Outlook 2002
Microsoft Outlook 2003
Microsoft Outlook is a popular personal communication manager that
provides end users with a unified place to manage e-mail, calendar
and contact information.
As part of its standard offering, Outlook also includes an Advanced
Search facility (Finder.exe) enabling end-users to query any aspect
of their repository information.
Unfortunately, it transpires that Outlook/Finder is susceptible to
a remote Buffer overflow vulnerability, when processing the contents
of a specially crafted Office Saved Search (.oss) file.
2. TECHNICAL NARRATIVE
The issue in question stems from a simple oversight in the design of
an intrinsic string manipulation function, which attempts to copy
1024 bytes of user supplied Unicode content, to a pre-allocated buffer
of only 512 bytes (even though sufficient length checks are invoked).
As the destination buffer is unable to accommodate the additional data,
the net result is that of a classic stack overflow condition, in which
Instruction Pointer (EIP) control is gained via one of several
available return addresses.
As with most file parsing vulnerabilities, the aforementioned issue
will require a certain degree of social engineering to achieve successful
However, Office Saved Searches (.oss) file types share very similar
display characteristics to that of harmless looking e-mail icons.
As such, end-users could be fooled into thinking the attachment is
a non-threatening mail forward.
4. VENDOR RESPONSE
The vendor security bulletin and corresponding patches are available
at the following location:
5. DISCLOSURE ANALYSIS
12/05/2006 Preliminary Vendor notification.
24/05/2006 Vulnerability confirmed by Vendor
16/10/2006 Public Disclosure Deferred by Vendor
09/01/2007 Public release.
Total Time to Fix: 7 months 29 Days (243 days in total)
The vulnerability was discovered by Stuart Pearson of Computer Terrorism
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