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Security Services

Microsoft Office Visio Viewer ActiveX Type Confusion Vulnerability



Microsoft Visio Viewer is an ActiveX control used to render Visio drawings and diagrams inside Internet Explorer and Outlook. Visio Viewer is included in Microsoft Office as a component of Outlook. More information can be found at the following vendor's website:


Remote exploitation of a type confusion vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.'s Visio Viewer could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

The vulnerability occurs when parsing a malformed Visio file. A Visio file contains different types of Visio objects in a tree structure. When certain Visio objects are crafted to be the parent of other specific objects, type confusion will happen and the vulnerable code will mistakenly take a memory structure as an object and call a function pointer from its vftable. This can lead to execution of arbitrary code.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the user viewing the Web page. To exploit this vulnerability, a targeted user must load a malicious Web page created by an attacker. An attacker typically accomplishes this via social engineering or injecting content into compromised, trusted sites. After the user visits the malicious Web page, no further user interaction is needed.


Visio Viewer 2010 SP1 is vulnerable.


Since this vulnerability is present in an ActiveX control, the killbit can be set to prevent the control from loading in Internet Explorer. The CLSID for the control is "F8CF7A98-2C45-4c8d-9151-2D716989DDAB." Setting the killbit for this CLSID will prevent exploitation.


Microsoft has released a fix which addresses this issue. For more information, consult their advisory at the following URL:


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2013-0079 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


09/12/2012 Initial Vendor Notification
09/12/2012 Initial Vendor Reply
03/12/2013 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by

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Copyright © 2013 Verisign, Inc.

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