TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

Microsoft Excel COUNTRY Record Memory Corruption Vulnerability

ZDI-08-048: August 12th, 2008


Affected Vendors

Affected Products

TippingPoint™ IPS Customer Protection

TippingPoint IPS customers are protected against this vulnerability by Digital Vaccine protection filter ID 6296. For further product information on the TippingPoint IPS:

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Microsoft Office Excel. Exploitation requires that the attacker coerce the target into opening a malicious .XLS file.

The specific flaw exists within the parsing of the BIFF file format used by Microsoft Excel. During the processing of a malformed Country (0x8c) record, user-supplied data may be used in a memory copy operation resulting in memory corruption. If successfully exploited remote control of the affected system can be obtained under the credentials of the currently logged in user.

Vendor Response

Microsoft has issued an update to correct this vulnerability. More details can be found at:

Disclosure Timeline

    2008-04-16 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2008-08-12 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by: