Microsoft Security Bulletin MS12-051 - Important
Vulnerability in Microsoft Office for Mac Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2721015)
Published: July 10, 2012
This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Microsoft Office for Mac. The vulnerability could allow elevation of privilege if a malicious executable is placed on an affected system by an attacker, and then another user logs on later and runs the malicious executable. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability.
This security update is rated Important for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. For more information, see the subsection, Affected and Non-Affected Software, in this section.
The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by correcting the permission settings on the Microsoft Office 2011 folder and other affected folders. For more information about the vulnerabilities, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) subsection for the specific vulnerability entry under the next section, Vulnerability Information.
Recommendation. Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update at the earliest opportunity.
See also the section, Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance, later in this bulletin.
Known Issues. None
Affected and Non-Affected Software
The following software have been tested to determine which versions or editions are affected. Other versions or editions are either past their support life cycle or are not affected. To determine the support life cycle for your software version or edition, visit Microsoft Support Lifecycle.
|Microsoft Office Software||Maximum Security Impact||Aggregate Severity Rating||Updates Replaced|
|Microsoft Office for Mac|
|Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 (KB2721015)||Elevation of Privilege||Important||KB2665351 in MS12-030 replaced by KB2721015|
|Office and Other Software|
|Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Related to This Security Update
Where are the hashes of the security updates?
The SHA1 and SHA2 hashes of the security updates can be used to verify the authenticity of downloaded security update packages. For the hash information pertaining to this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2721015.
I am using an older release of the software discussed in this security bulletin. What should I do?
The affected software listed in this bulletin have been tested to determine which releases are affected. Other releases are past their support life cycle. For more information about the product lifecycle, visit the Microsoft Support Lifecycle website.
It should be a priority for customers who have older releases of the software to migrate to supported releases to prevent potential exposure to vulnerabilities. To determine the support lifecycle for your software release, see Select a Product for Lifecycle Information. For more information about service packs for these software releases, see Service Pack Lifecycle Support Policy.
Customers who require custom support for older software must contact their Microsoft account team representative, their Technical Account Manager, or the appropriate Microsoft partner representative for custom support options. Customers without an Alliance, Premier, or Authorized Contract can contact their local Microsoft sales office. For contact information, visit the Microsoft Worldwide Information website, select the country in the Contact Information list, and then click Go to see a list of telephone numbers. When you call, ask to speak with the local Premier Support sales manager. For more information, see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.
Severity Ratings and Vulnerability Identifiers
The following severity ratings assume the potential maximum impact of the vulnerability. For information regarding the likelihood, within 30 days of this security bulletin's release, of the exploitability of the vulnerability in relation to its severity rating and security impact, please see the Exploitability Index in the July bulletin summary. For more information, see Microsoft Exploitability Index.
|Affected Software||Office for Mac Improper Folder Permissions Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1894||Aggregate Severity Rating|
|Microsoft Office for Mac 2011||Important \ Elevation of Privilege||Important|
Office for Mac Improper Folder Permissions Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1894
An elevation of privilege vulnerability exists in the way that folder permissions are set in certain Microsoft Office for Mac installations. An attacker could place a malicious executable in the Microsoft Office 2011 folder. If a user later logs on and runs the malicious executable, attacker-provided code can be made to execute in the security context of the current user. If the user runs the malicious executable as an administrator, the attacker could take complete control over an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. The attacker would only be able to gain elevated privileges on the affected Mac computer if a user executed the malicious executable. This is not a direct elevation of privilege, but rather it is a luring attack.
To view this vulnerability as a standard entry in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list, see CVE-2012-1894.
Mitigating Factors for Office for Mac Improper Folder Permissions Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1894
Mitigation refers to a setting, common configuration, or general best-practice, existing in a default state, that could reduce the severity of exploitation of a vulnerability. The following mitigating factors may be helpful in your situation:
- An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit this vulnerability.
- An attacker could use the vulnerability to place a malicious executable in the Microsoft Office 2011 folder. However, the attacker would only be able to gain elevated privileges on the affected Mac computer if a user runs the malicious executable. This is not a direct elevation of privilege, but rather it is a luring attack.
- This vulnerability does not affect Office for Mac 2011 installations in an upgrade scenario to Service Pack 2.
Workarounds for Office for Mac Improper Folder Permissions Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1894
Workaround refers to a setting or configuration change that does not correct the underlying vulnerability but would help block known attack vectors before you apply the update. Microsoft has tested the following workarounds and states in the discussion whether a workaround reduces functionality:
Remove write permission from others in affected folders
To manually change the permissions, run each of the following commands in /Applications/Utilities/Terminal:
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/chmod -R -P o-w /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/SharePointWebKitPlugin.webplugin/
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/chmod -R -P o-w /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/SharePointBrowserPlugin.plugin/
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/chmod -R -P o-w /Library/Fonts/Microsoft/
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/chmod -R -P o-w /Library/Automator/
/usr/bin/sudo /bin/chmod -R -P o-w /Applications/Microsoft\ Office\ 2011/
FAQ for Office for Mac Improper Folder Permissions Vulnerability - CVE-2012-1894
What is the scope of the vulnerability?
This is an elevation of privilege vulnerability.
What causes the vulnerability?
The vulnerability exists in the way folder permissions are set in certain installations of Microsoft Office for Mac.
What might an attacker use the vulnerability to do?
An attacker could place a malicious executable in the Microsoft Office 2011 folder. If a user later logs on and runs the malicious executable, attacker-provided code can be made to execute in the security context of the current user. If the user runs the malicious executable as an administrator, the attacker could take complete control over an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. The attacker would only be able to gain elevated privileges on the affected Mac computer if a user executed the malicious executable. This is not a direct elevation of privilege, but rather it is a luring attack.
How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability?
To exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would first have to log on to an affected system and place a malicious executable in the Microsoft Office 2011 folder. When a user later logs on and runs the malicious executable, the attacker-provided code can be made to execute in the security context of the current user.
What systems are primarily at risk from the vulnerability?
Shared workstations, such as those in libraries or internet cafes, are primarily at risk.
What does the update do?
The update addresses the vulnerability by correcting the permission settings on the Microsoft Office 2011 folder and other affected folders.
When this security bulletin was issued, had this vulnerability been publicly disclosed?
Yes. This vulnerability has been publicly disclosed. It has been assigned Common Vulnerability and Exposure number CVE-2012-1894.
When this security bulletin was issued, had Microsoft received any reports that this vulnerability was being exploited?
No. Microsoft had not received any information to indicate that this vulnerability had been publicly used to attack customers when this security bulletin was originally issued.
Detection and Deployment Tools and Guidance
Manage the software and security updates you need to deploy to the servers, desktop, and mobile systems in your organization. For more information see the TechNet Update Management Center. The Microsoft TechNet Security website provides additional information about security in Microsoft products.
Security updates are available from Microsoft Update and Windows Update. Security updates are also available from the Microsoft Download Center. You can find them most easily by doing a keyword search for "security update."
For customers of Microsoft Office for Mac, Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac can help keep your Microsoft software up to date. For more information about using Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac, see Check for software updates automatically.
Finally, security updates can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog. The Microsoft Update Catalog provides a searchable catalog of content made available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, including security updates, drivers and service packs. By searching using the security bulletin number (such as, "MS07-036"), you can add all of the applicable updates to your basket (including different languages for an update), and download to the folder of your choosing. For more information about the Microsoft Update Catalog, see the Microsoft Update Catalog FAQ.
Detection and Deployment Guidance
Microsoft provides detection and deployment guidance for security updates. This guidance contains recommendations and information that can help IT professionals understand how to use various tools for detection and deployment of security updates. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 961747.
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) allows administrators to scan local and remote systems for missing security updates as well as common security misconfigurations. For more information about MBSA, visit Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer.
The following table provides the MBSA detection summary for this security update.
|Microsoft Office for Mac 2011||No|
Note For customers using legacy software not supported by the latest release of MBSA, Microsoft Update, and Windows Server Update Services, please visit Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and reference the Legacy Product Support section on how to create comprehensive security update detection with legacy tools.
Windows Server Update Services
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) enables information technology administrators to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates to computers that are running the Windows operating system. For more information about how to deploy security updates using Windows Server Update Services, see the TechNet article, Windows Server Update Services.
Systems Management Server
The following table provides the SMS detection and deployment summary for this security update.
|Software||SMS 2003 with ITMU||System Center Configuration Manager|
|Microsoft Office for Mac 2011||No||No|
Note Microsoft discontinued support for SMS 2.0 on April 12, 2011. For SMS 2003, Microsoft also discontinued support for the Security Update Inventory Tool (SUIT) on April 12, 2011. Customers are encouraged to upgrade to System Center Configuration Manager. For customers remaining on SMS 2003 Service Pack 3, the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU) is also an option.
For SMS 2003, the SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU) can be used by SMS to detect security updates that are offered by Microsoft Update and that are supported by Windows Server Update Services. For more information about the SMS 2003 ITMU, see SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates. For more information about SMS scanning tools, see SMS 2003 Software Update Scanning Tools. See also Downloads for Systems Management Server 2003.
System Center Configuration Manager uses WSUS 3.0 for detection of updates. For more information about System Center Configuration Manager Software Update Management, visit System Center.
For more information about SMS, visit the SMS website.
For more detailed information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 910723: Summary list of monthly detection and deployment guidance articles.
Update Compatibility Evaluator and Application Compatibility Toolkit
Updates often write to the same files and registry settings required for your applications to run. This can trigger incompatibilities and increase the time it takes to deploy security updates. You can streamline testing and validating Windows updates against installed applications with the Update Compatibility Evaluator components included with Application Compatibility Toolkit.
The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) contains the necessary tools and documentation to evaluate and mitigate application compatibility issues before deploying Windows Vista, a Windows Update, a Microsoft Security Update, or a new version of Windows Internet Explorer in your environment.
Security Update Deployment
For information about the specific security update for your affected software, click the appropriate link:
Office for Mac 2011
- Mac OS X version 10.5.8 or later version on an Intel processor
- Mac OS X user accounts must have administrator privileges to install this security update
Installing the Update
Download and install the appropriate language version of the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3 Update from the Microsoft Download Center.
- Quit any applications that are running, including virus-protection applications and all Microsoft Office applications, because they might interfere with installation.
- Open the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3 Update volume on your desktop. This step might have been performed for you.
- To start the update process, in the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3 Update volume window, double-click the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3 Update application, and follow the instructions on the screen.
- When the installation finishes successfully, you can remove the update installer from your hard disk. To verify that the installation finished successfully, see the following "Verifying Update Installation" heading. To remove the update installer, first drag the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 14.2.3 Update volume to the Trash, and then drag the file that you downloaded to the Trash.
Verifying Update Installation
To verify that a security update is installed on an affected system, follow these steps:
- In the Finder, navigate to the Application Folder (Microsoft Office 2011).
- Select Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook and launch the application.
- On the Application menu, click About Application_Name (where Application_Name is Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Outlook).
If the Latest Installed Update Version number is 14.2.3, the update has been successfully installed.
This update does not require you to restart your computer.
Removing the Update
This security update cannot be uninstalled.
If you have technical questions or problems downloading or using this update, visit Microsoft for Mac Support to learn about the support options that are available to you.
Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP)
To improve security protections for customers, Microsoft provides vulnerability information to major security software providers in advance of each monthly security update release. Security software providers can then use this vulnerability information to provide updated protections to customers via their security software or devices, such as antivirus, network-based intrusion detection systems, or host-based intrusion prevention systems. To determine whether active protections are available from security software providers, please visit the active protections websites provided by program partners, listed in Microsoft Active Protections Program (MAPP) Partners.
How to obtain help and support for this security update
- Help installing updates: Support for Microsoft Update
- Security solutions for IT professionals: TechNet Security Troubleshooting and Support
- Help protect your computer that is running Windows from viruses and malware: Virus Solution and Security Center
- Local support according to your country: International Support
The information provided in the Microsoft Knowledge Base is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.
- V1.0 (July 10, 2012): Bulletin published.
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