Security experts have discovered TIFF-based buffer overflow vulnerabilities in OpenOffice.org that could allow attackers to remotely execute code on Linux, Windows or Apple Mac-based computers.
OpenOffice version 2.0.4 and prior are vulnerable to maliciously crafted TIFF files, which can be delivered in an email attachment, published on a website or shared using P2P software. The next version of OpenOffice (version 2.3) arrived on 17 September and is not affected by the flaw.
The vulnerability was discovered by researchers at iDefense, who claim that the OpenOffice TIFF parsing code is flawed.
"When parsing the TIFF directory entries for certain tags, the parser uses untrusted values from the file to calculate the amount of memory to allocate. By providing specially crafted values, an integer overflow occurs in this calculation. This results in the allocation of a buffer of insufficient size, which in turn leads to a heap overflow," the iDefense team reported last Friday.
TrustDefender co-founder Andreas Baumhoff said: "This vulnerability allows someone to execute malicious code on your computer. It's an OpenOffice bug so it doesn't matter what type of operating system you run; it allows you to run malicious software with the same rights as the user who runs OpenOffice."
"At this stage, it's only confirmed on Linux," said Baumhoff. "But typically it would affect all operating systems. The only difference with Linux and Windows is that home users typically run Windows as the administrator."
In June, OpenOffice users were warned about a worm called "Badbunny" that was spreading in the wild through multiple operating systems, including Mac OS, Windows and Linux.
At the time, Symantec posted an advisory that said: "A new worm is being distributed within malicious OpenOffice documents. The worm can infect Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X systems. Be cautious when handling OpenOffice files from unknown sources".