Microsoft Patches - January 2007 - overview

Published: 2007-01-09
Last Updated: 2007-01-18 19:21:08 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 8)
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Overview of the January 2007 Microsoft patches and their status.

# Affected Contra Indications Known Exploits Microsoft rating ISC rating(*)
clients servers
MS07-001 Remote code execution in Office 2003 Brazilian grammar checker. Read more...
Office 2003

No known problems

KB 921585
Exploit publicly available
Important Critical Important
MS07-002 Multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities in Excel. Affects the viewer and the mac versions as well.

Updated to fix an issue with certain Asian localized versions

KB 927198
KB 931183
No known exploits
Critical Critical Important
MS07-003 Multiple remote code execution vulnerabilities in Outlook

No known problems

KB 925938

Intentionally disables .oss functionality: KB 925542
DoS exploit publicly known
Critical Critical Important
MS07-004 Remote code execution in VML. Replaces MS06-055.
VML: IE and Outlook

No known problems

KB 929969
Multiple exploits publicly available and actively used.
Critical PATCH NOW Important

We will update issues on this page as they evolve.
We appreciate updates
US based customers can call Microsoft for free patch related support on 1-866-PCSAFETY

(*): ISC rating
  • We use 4 levels:
    • PATCH NOW: Typically used where we see immediate danger of exploitation. Typical environments will want to deploy these patches ASAP. Workarounds are typically not accepted by users or are not possible. This rating is often used when typical deployments make it vulnerable and exploits are being used or easy to obtain or make.
    • Critical: Anything that needs little to become "interesting" for the dark side. Best approach is to test and deploy ASAP. Workarounds can give more time to test.
    • Important: Things where more testing and other measures can help.
    • Less urgent: Typically we expect the impact if left unpatched to be not that big a deal in the short term. Do not forget them however.
  • The difference between the client and server rating is based on how you use the affected machine. We take into account the typical client and server deployment in the usage of the machine and the common measures people typically have in place already. Measures we presume are simple best practices for servers such as not using outlook, MSIE, word etc. to do traditional office or leisure work.
  • The rating is not a risk analysis as such. It is a rating of importance of the vulnerability and the perceived or even predicted threat for affected systems. The rating does not account for the number of affected systems there are. It is for an affected system in a typical worst-case role.
  • Only the organization itself is in a position to do a full risk analysis involving the presence (or lack of) affected systems, the actually implemented measures, the impact on their operation and the value of the assets involved.
  • All patches released by a vendor are important enough to have a close look if you use the affected systems. There is little incentive for vendors to publicize patches that do not have some form of risk to them.

Swa Frantzen -- Section 66

Keywords: mspatchday
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Vulnerability in Acer?s LunchApp.APlunch ActiveX control

Published: 2007-01-09
Last Updated: 2007-01-16 18:29:58 UTC
by Bojan Zdrnja (Version: 2)
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Recently there’s been a series of articles about a vulnerability (if you can call that a vulnerability – it looks more like an open program launcher) in the LunchApp.APlunch ActiveX control that comes preinstalled on some Acer laptops.

The original article, available at, dates back to November, but for some reason this hit the news now.
The ActiveX control is very simple and basically allows an attacker to execute any binary on a remote machine by just providing a full path to it and (if need) arguments. The control is also marked as safe for scripting.

I’ve quickly tested this on a new Acer TravelMate and the ActiveX control is certainly there. However, even with Internet Explorer 6 (on Windows XP SP2), it does not run automatically, but will warn the user who has to allow the control to run. Internet Explorer 7 will warn the user with the full control name and will not run it automatically either.

At this point in time, until the patch is available, the best thing would be to set the kill bit on this control – see for information on how to set kill bits.

Update 1:

Acer has released a patch to address this issue. It is called "Acer Preload Security Patch for Windows XP" and can be downloaded here. The updated US-CERT vulnerability notice with information about the patch can be found here.
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Port 6502

Published: 2007-01-09
Last Updated: 2007-01-12 01:27:28 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 4)
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Port 6502 is showing a significant increase in unwanted traffic:

port 6502

The increase is almost purely TCP.

It seems possible this is related to the activity reported earlier by US-CERT regarding the CA BrightStor ARCserve Backup Tape Engine. It exploits a vulnerability disclosed on November 24th, 2006 for which there doesn't seem to be a patch available.

To be sure what it is, we'd like some packets. Please note we don't need just SYN packets, they are useless for this. We need you to set up something that listens and actively tries to talk as a server on port 6502.   "nc" with the right options comes to mind (options are system dependent, check your man page).

It's interesting to note the length of time that passed on this one if this is indeed still the same vulnerability they are attempting to exploit.

Swa Frantzen -- Section 66

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MS07-01: Brazilian Grammar Checker

Published: 2007-01-09
Last Updated: 2007-01-10 05:58:18 UTC
by Swa Frantzen (Version: 1)
0 comment(s)
MSFT bundles a grammar checker for Brazilian Portuguese with Office. Use this as an opportunity to review what kind of language packs for office you have installed. If you don't read/speak or write a certain language, uninstall it.

Take it in line with the "Principles of Least Privilege" (POLP). Software you don't need can only hurt you. Get rid of it.
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