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  • DDEAUTO vulnerability evolving

    Posted on October 22nd, 2017 at 14:29 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Further to recent news on DDEAUTO vulnerability, this threat has, like all good malware, evolved.

    From nakedsecurity.sophos.com:

    On Friday, independent reports surfaced showing that it’s possible to run DDE attacks in Outlook using emails and calendar invites formatted using Microsoft Outlook Rich Text Format (RTF), not just by sending Office files attached to emails.

    In the original attack users had to be coaxed into opening malicious attachments. By putting the code into the email message body itself, the attack comes one step closer, meaning that the social engineering needed to talk a recipient into falling for it becomes easier.

    The good news is that whether a DDE attack comes via an attachment or directly in an email or a calendar invite, you can stop the attack easily:
    Just say no

    You can read their article here

    AdminITs might like to check out the Microsoft blog on ASR (Attack Surface Reduction), which is said to mitigate the risks – linked in the AdminIT Lounge topic “Enable Attack Surface Reduction in Win10-1709“.

  • Word’s DDEAUTO field considered harmful

    Posted on October 10th, 2017 at 07:31 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Wow. This one goes all the way back to Hacker’s Guide to Word for Windows — which was published in 1994.

    Etienne Stalmans and Saif El-Sherei at Sensepost have publicized the {DDEAUTO} field’s unruly behavior. What they say is true — if you open a Word doc that contains a {DDEAUTO} field, and you click through the warnings, arbitrary code can be executed. That’s as it was designed.

    They miss one important point, though. If you open a DOCX that comes from the internet, at least with a bone-stock Word installation, you have to click the “Enable Editing” button before you see the other two warning dialogs.

    Everything old is new again….