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CVE Number Vulnerability Product Severity Date
CVE-2019-1297 Microsoft Excel Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Microsoft Excel 2016 Important 10-09-2019

Technical Information

Brief overview of the risk:

A remote code execution vulnerability exists in Microsoft Excel software when the software fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of the affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Detailed Information on the risk:

Exploitation of the vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft Excel. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending the specially crafted file to the user and convincing the user to open the file. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website (or leverage a compromised website that accepts or hosts user-provided content) containing a specially crafted file designed to exploit the vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to click a link, typically by way of an enticement in an email or instant message, and then convince them to open the specially crafted file. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Microsoft Excel handles objects in memory.We have observed ransomware campaigns such as Dharma, samsam, etc., utilizing vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office documents to spread infections. Adversaries user legitimate looking phishing emails to trick users into downloading and opening malicious office attachments infecting machines/networks.

1. Do not download attachments from unknown senders
2. Keep your AV products up-to-date

Further information on this vulnerability is available at : CVE-2019-1297

Affected Software

Microsoft Excel 2010 Service Pack 2 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2010 Service Pack 2 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2013 RT Service Pack 1
Microsoft Excel 2013 Service Pack 1 (32-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2013 Service Pack 1 (64-bit editions)
Microsoft Excel 2016 (32-bit edition)
Microsoft Excel 2016 (64-bit edition)
Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac
Microsoft Office 2019 for 32-bit editions
Microsoft Office 2019 for 64-bit editions
Microsoft Office 2019 for Mac
Office 365 ProPlus for 32-bit Systems
Office 365 ProPlus for 64-bit Systems