Zero-Day Advisory

Fortinet Discovers Microsoft Word RTF File Handling Memory Corruption Vulnerability


Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs has discovered an Use-After-Free vulnerability in Microsoft Word.

Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers and services. It was first announced by Microsoft in 1988. The first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications brand.

It has been discovered that a Memory Corruption vulnerability exists in the Microsoft Word when the Office software fails to properly handle objects in memory. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could run arbitrary code in the context of the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker could take control of the affected system.


FortiGuard Labs released the following FortiGate IPS signature which covers this specific vulnerability:

Released Jan 04, 2017

Users should apply the solution provided by Microsoft.

Additional Information

Fortinet reported the vulnerability to Microsoft on November 10, 2016.

Microsoft patched the vulnerability on January 10, 2017.


This vulnerability was discovered by Tony Loi of Fortinet's FortiGuard Labs.

IPS Subscription

Fortinet customers who subscribe to Fortinet's intrusion prevention (IPS) service should be protected against this vulnerability with the appropriate configuration parameters in place. Fortinet's IPS service is one component of FortiGuard Subscription Services, which also offer comprehensive solutions such as antivirus, Web content filtering and antispam capabilities. These services enable protection against threats on both application and network layers. FortiGuard Services are continuously updated by FortiGuard Labs, which enables Fortinet to deliver a combination of multi-layered security intelligence and true zero-day protection from new and emerging threats. These updates are delivered to all FortiGate, FortiMail and FortiClient products. Fortinet strictly follows responsible disclosure guidelines to ensure optimum protection during a threat's lifecycle.