Microsoft confirms another zero-day vulnerability

Just a day before Microsoft will patch a different zero-day flaw, another one pops up

Microsoft confirmed another zero-day vulnerability on Monday in a set of software components that ship in a wide variety of the company's products.

The vulnerability resides in Microsoft's Office Web Components, which are used for publishing spreadsheets, charts and databases to the Web, among other functions. The company is working on a patch but did not indicate when it would be released, according to an advisory.

"Specifically, the vulnerability exists in the Spreadsheet ActiveX control and while we've only seen limited attacks, if exploited successfully, an attacker could gain the same user rights as the local user," wrote Dave Forstrom, a group manager who is part of Microsoft's Security Response Center, in a blog post.

An ActiveX control is a small add-on program that works in a Web browser to facilitate functions such as downloading programs or security updates. Over the years, however, the controls have been prone to vulnerabilities.

The new flaw comes just a day before the company is set to release its monthly patches, including one for another zero-day vulnerability revealed earlier this month.

That problem lies with the Video ActiveX control within Internet Explorer and is currently being used by hackers in drive-by download attempts.

In cases of especially dangerous vulnerabilities, Microsoft has deviated from its patching schedule and issued one out of cycle.

Microsoft said that the flaw could allow an attacker to execute code remotely on a machine if someone using Internet Explorer visits a malicious Web site, a hacking technique known as a drive-by download.

Web sites that host user-provided content or advertisements could be rigged to take advantage of the vulnerability.

"In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit these Web sites," the advisory said.

"Instead, an attacker would have to persuade users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site."

Microsoft issued a list of affected software, which includes Office XP Service Pack 3, 2003 Service Pack 3, several versions of Internet Security and Acceleration Server and Office Small Business Accounting 2006, among others.

Until a patch is ready, Microsoft said one option for administrators is to disable Office Web Components from running in Internet Explorer and has provided instructions.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftactivexexploits and vulnerabilitieszero day exploit

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?