CVE-2015-1641 and CVE-2015-2545 Prevail in Microsoft Office Malware

Microsoft Office vulnerabilities are cyber criminals’ favorites. Two of the more recent flaws – CVE-2015-1641 and CVE-2015-2545 – are quickly stepping up the malware game and seem to be replacing the all-time-favorite CVE-2012-0158. The latter leveraged a weak spot in ActiveX controls, and has been in the epicenter of multiple attacks puzzling security researchers as to why cyber criminals were using such an old exploit.

More about the Classic CVE-2012-0158
Official Description (from

The (1) ListView, (2) ListView2, (3) TreeView, and (4) TreeView2 ActiveX controls in MSCOMCTL.OCX in the Common Controls in Microsoft Office 2003 SP3, 2007 SP2 and SP3, and 2010 Gold and SP1; Office 2003 Web Components SP3; SQL Server 2000 SP4, 2005 SP4, and 2008 SP2, SP3, and R2; BizTalk Server 2002 SP1; Commerce Server 2002 SP4, 2007 SP2, and 2009 Gold and R2; Visual FoxPro 8.0 SP1 and 9.0 SP2; and Visual Basic 6.0 Runtime allow remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted (a) web site, (b) Office document, or © .rtf file that triggers “system state” corruption, as exploited in the wild in April 2012, aka “MSCOMCTL.OCX RCE Vulnerability.”

Many infosec experts have paid tribute to the vulnerability, and Sophos recently released an intriguing report titled “Is it time for CVE-2012-0158 to retire?”. The report notes that this 4-year-old exploit has dominated the Office package attack scenario but is now being pushed aside by other vulnerabilities. This four-year-old classic exploit has been dethroned by two new flaws: CVE-2015-1641 and CVE-2015-2545.