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Microsoft Office RTF Parsing Engine Memory Corruption Vulnerability



Microsoft Word is a word processing application from Microsoft Office. For more information about Microsoft Word, see the following website:

Rich-Text Format (RTF) is a document file format developed by Microsoft for cross-platform document interchange.


Remote exploitation of an memory corruption vulnerability in Microsoft's Office RTF Parsing Engine could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the current user.

During the processing of a RTF document containing certain control words, the RTF parsing engine may incorrectly read a value from the RTF file. This value may directly affect the control of execution flow within the RTF parsing engine.


Exploitation of this vulnerability results in the execution of arbitrary code with the privileges of the user who opened a malicious RTF document with Microsoft Office.

To exploit this vulnerability, a targeted user must load a malicious RTF file created by an attacker, or simply receive an email containing malicious RTF content. An attacker typically accomplishes this via social engineering or injecting content into a compromised, trusted site.


iDefense has confirmed the existence of this vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2003, Microsoft Word 2007, and Microsoft Outlook 2007. A full list of vulnerable Microsoft products can be found in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-056.


Microsoft suggested workarounds can be found in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-056.


Microsoft Corp. has released patches which address this issue. Information about downloadable vendor updates can be found by clicking on the URLs shown.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2010-1901 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


08/11/2009 Initial Vendor Notification
08/11/2009 Initial Vendor Reply
08/10/2010 Coordinated Public Disclosure


This vulnerability was reported to iDefense by wushi of team509.

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