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From: idlabs-advisories at (
Subject: iDEFENSE Security Advisory 12.14.04: Microsoft
	Word 6.0/95 Document Converter Buffer Overflow Vulnerability

Microsoft Word 6.0/95 Document Converter Buffer Overflow Vulnerability 

iDEFENSE Security Advisory 12.14.04
December 14, 2004


WordPad is a word processing application that uses the MFC rich edit 
control classes. It is installed by default on most Windows platforms,
and contains filters for converting from other filetypes into RTF 
(Rich Text Format).


Remote exploitation of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Microsoft 
Corp.'s Word 6.0/95 Document Converter could allow attackers to exploit 
arbitrary code under the privileges of the target user.

The Microsoft Word 6.0/95 Document Converter (MSWRD632.WPC) is a module
that is utilized by WordPad and potentially other applications to 
convert Microsoft Word format files into the Rich Text Format natively 
handled by WordPad. The module is installed by default in

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\TextConv

The problem specifically exists when a specially crafted file is 
opened by WordPad or another application that utilizes the vulnerable 
library and results in a buffer overflow. The overflow is caused by 
copying a length tagged segment of a file into a fixed length stack 
buffer of smaller size. The following instruction sequence is found 
within ConvertForeignToRtf():

0150eba6   8bd1      mov edx, ecx
0150eba8   83e203    and edx, 0x3
0150ebab   c1e902    shr ecx, 0x2
0150ebae   f3a5      rep movsd edi, esi

This instruction sequence will copy bytes from the memory region 
pointed to by ESI into the memory region pointed to by EDI. Due to a 
lack of bounds checking, an overflow occurs directly overwriting the 
stored return address and frame pointer on the stack and allowing for 
the eventual execution of arbitrary code.


Successful exploitation allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary 
code under the privileges of the target user that opened the malicious 
document. WordPad, a vulnerable application, is installed by default 
and will open WRI and large TXT files. If Microsoft Word is not 
installed, WordPad will also be the default application for opening 
DOC and RTF files.

In order for this vulnerability to be exploited, a user would need to 
open an attacker-supplied file with a vulnerable application.


The following operating systems appear to be impacted by this
vulnerability in their default configuration:

  Windows XP 
  Windows 2000
  Windows 2003
  Windows NT 4.0
  Windows ME
  Windows 98

iDEFENSE Labs has confirmed that MSWRD632.WPC, file version 1999.8.7.0 
is vulnerable. Any application that utilizes this module to convert Word

documents may be considered vulnerable. This includes wordpad.exe, which

is the default application for opening files with the .wri extension, 
and .doc and .rtf files if Microsoft Word is not installed.

It does not seem to be possible to exploit Microsoft Word itself with 
this vulnerability, as it does not appear to use this library.

As this module comes with Windows by default, even if you have Word 
installed, WordPad is still vulnerable to exploitation from files with
the  .wri extension, or by opening an affected file from within WordPad.


User awareness is the best defense against this class of attack. Users 
should be aware of the existence of such attacks and proceed with 
caution when following links or opening attachments from suspicious 
and/or unsolicited e-mail.

Alternatively, concerned users can remove the affected converter module,

MSWRD632.WPC. This will prevent the user from opening Word for Windows 
files, but will still allow other supported file types to be opened such

as .txt or .rtf. However, the error will be handled gracefully and the 
described vulnerability will no longer be exploitable.


This vulnerability is addressed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS04-041
available at:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the
name CAN-2004-0901 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion
in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for
security problems.


09/22/2004  Initial vendor notification
09/23/2004  Initial vendor response
12/14/2004  Coordinated public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Lord Yup.

Get paid for vulnerability research


Copyright (c) 2004 iDEFENSE, Inc.

Permission is granted for the redistribution of this alert
electronically. It may not be edited in any way without the express
written consent of iDEFENSE. If you wish to reprint the whole or any
part of this alert in any other medium other than electronically, please
email for permission.

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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