Microsoft Works File Converter Section Header Index Table Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ID SMNTC-27658
Type symantec
Reporter Symantec Security Response
Modified 2008-02-12T00:00:00



Microsoft Works File Converter is prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability because it fails to adequately validate user-supplied input. An attacker could exploit this issue by enticing a victim to open a malicious '.wps' file. Successfully exploiting this issue would allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the currently logged-in user.

Technologies Affected

  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP2
  • Microsoft Office 2003 SP3
  • Microsoft Works 8.0
  • Microsoft Works Suite 2005


Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To mitigate the impact of a successful exploit, run the affected application as a user with minimal access rights.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious or anomalous activity. This may help detect malicious actions that an attacker may take after successfully exploiting vulnerabilities in applications. Review all applicable logs regularly.

Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
Users should never accept files from untrusted or unknown sources, because they may be malicious in nature. Avoid opening email attachments from unknown or questionable sources.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Since this issue may be leveraged to execute code, we recommend memory-protection schemes, such as nonexecutable stack/heap configurations and randomly mapped memory segments. This tactic may complicate exploit attempts of memory-corruption vulnerabilities.

The vendor released an advisory and updates to address this issue. Please see the references for more information.