iDefense Security Advisory 07.15.09: Microsoft Embedded OpenType Font Engine (T2EMBED.DLL) Heap Buffer Overflow Vulnerability
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iDefense Security Advisory 07.14.09
Jul 14, 2009
Microsoft Embedded OpenType Font Engine (T2EMBED.DLL) allows an
application to load a custom OpenType font. It is often used by
Internet Explorer to load embedded fonts for a webpage, or by
applications such as Microsoft Office to support loading custom
Remote exploitation of a heap based buffer overflow vulnerability in
Microsoft Corp.s Embedded OpenType Font Engine (T2EMBED.DLL) could
allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the
During the processing of a malicious OpenType Font, an integer
truncation issue can occur on a specific length value. This can result
in a large overwrite of the heap using attacker controlled data. The
attacker may gain arbitrary execution control by overwriting specific
data structures on the heap, such as an object virtual function table.
Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary
code in the context of the application processing the malicious font
file. All applications that support Embedded OpenType Fonts using the
T2EMBED library are likely to be vulnerable.
There are several attack vectors available to exploit this
vulnerability. A targeted victim may be lured to a website hosting a
malicious OpenType font, or the targeted victim may visit a trusted
website that been compromised and is hosting a malicious font file.
Upon loading the web page, the victims web browser is compromised.
Alternatively, an attacker may email a Microsoft Word document
containing a malicious embedded font to the victim. Upon opening the
Word document, the victims Office Word application is compromised.
iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in the
Embedded OpenType Font Engine for Windows Vista SP1 (T2EMBED.DLL
version 6.0.6001.18000) and Windows XP SP3 (T2EMBED.DLL version
5.1.2600.5512). Previous versions may also be affected.
Microsoft comfirms/reports the following products are vulnerable:
Microsoft Windows 2000 SP 4
Windows XP SP 2
Windows XP SP 3
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP 2
Windows Server 2003 SP 2
Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition SP 2
Windows Server 2003 with SP2 for Itanium-based Systems
Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP 1, and Windows Vista SP 2
Windows Vista x64 Edition, Windows Vista x64 Edition SP 1, and Windows
Vista x64 Edition SP 2
Windows Server 2008 for 32-bit Systems and Windows Server 2008 for
32-bit Systems SP 2
Windows Server 2008 for x64-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 for
x64-based Systems SP 2
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008
for Itanium-based Systems SP 2
Internet Explorer provides an option to ignore font styles specified on
web pages. Unfortunately this option does not mitigate all aspects of
On Windows XP the following command may be issued as Administrator to
mitigate the vulnerability: echo y| cacls
"%SystemRoot%system32 2embed.dll" /E /P everyone:N
On Windows Visa the following commands may be issued as Administrator to
mitigate the vulnerability: takeown.exe /f
echo y| cacls "%SystemRoot%system32 2embed.dll" /E /P everyone:N
These commands will prevent the library from being loading into a
application. When this command has been issued, Microsoft Internet
Explorer and Microsoft Word appear to operate correctly without any
serious side effects.
VI. VENDOR RESPONSE
Microsoft has released a patch which addresses this issue. Directly
downloadable vendor updates for this report are accessible via the
iDefense Intelligence web portal (https://ialert.idefense.com) and the
iDefense Intelligence XML web service. Information about non-directly
downloadable vendor updates can be found by clicking on the URLs shown.
VII. CVE INFORMATION
The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CVE-2009-0231 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in
the CVE list (http://cve.mitre.org/), which standardizes names for
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
08/25/2008 - Initial Contact
08/26/2008 - Initial Vendor Response
09/10/2008 - PoC Requested
09/22/2008 - PoC Sent
12/12/2008 - Vendor Status Update - estimated March or May
02/26/2009 - Vendor set tentative release date of 06/09/2009
03/27/2009 - Vendor confirmed attribution.
04/23/2009 - Requested CVE
07/14/2009 - Coordinated Public Disclosure
The discoverer of this vulnerability wishes to remain anonymous.
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Copyright © 2009 iDefense, Inc.
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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate
at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use
of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition.
There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the
author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct,
indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or
reliance on, this information.
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