[ISN] Security researcher uncovers two Office XP flaws

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Wed Apr 03 2002 - 00:41:52 PST

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    Sam Costello, 
    IDG News Service, 
    Boston Bureau
    Two new security flaws in Microsoft Corp.'s Office XP productivity
    suite could be combined to allow attackers to take over a system,
    according to independent security researcher Georgi Guninski
    Guninski sent an advisory about the issues to security e-mail lists
    and posted it on his Web site Monday.
    The first vulnerability, which affects Outlook XP, would allow an
    attacker to embed "active" content in an e-mail, he wrote. Active
    content contains both an object and a script. The content embedded in
    the e-mail would then execute when the e-mail is forwarded or replied
    to, wrote Guninski, who has uncovered a number of vulnerabilities in
    Microsoft products in the past. The vulnerability could force a user
    to visit a Web page designated by the attacker, Guninski wrote.
    The second security hole, which affects the spreadsheet component of
    Office XP, can be used in conjunction with the first vulnerability to
    place executable files in a user's start-up directory, which could
    lead to a takeover of the target machine, he wrote.
    Guninski, who lives in Bulgaria, included sample code in his advisory
    to demonstrate how to exploit both vulnerabilities.
    Guninski wrote that he notified Microsoft of the bugs on March 17, but
    that the company did not produce a patch in two weeks, triggering his
    advisory. In the past, Microsoft has criticized Guninski for releasing
    his vulnerability data too quickly, calling his actions
    Work-arounds for the vulnerability include disabling all "active"  
    content in Internet Explorer (which is used by parts of Outlook) and
    fully deleting the spreadsheet component of Office XP. Guninski also
    wrote that "the solution is to get a real mail client and office
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