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Microsoft Excel Rich Text Memory Corruption Vulnerability

TPTI-08-03: March 11th, 2008


Affected Vendors

Affected Products

    Office Excel 2003
    Office Excel 2002
    Office Excel 2000

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 6000. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Office Excel. Exploitation requires that the attacker coerce the target into opening a malicious .XLS file.

The specific flaw exists within the parsing of the BIFF file format used by Microsoft Excel. During the processing of a malformed tag a heap allocation can be adversely controlled. When user supplied data is copied to a heap buffer the resulting data results in a arbitrary memory overwrite. If successfully exploited this could lead to system compromise under the credentials of the currently logged in user.

Vendor Response

Microsoft has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2007-10-17 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2008-03-11 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by: