Exploring Macros in (Open|Libre)office - Why you should care

In this talk we will explore how file formats can be abused to target the security of an end user or server, without harming a CPU register or the memory layout with a focus on the OpenDocument file format.

At first a short introduction to file formats bug hunting will be given, based on my own approach. This will cover my latest Adobe PDF reader finding and will lead up to my discovery of a remote code execution in Libreoffice. It shows how a simple path traversal issue allowed me to abuse the macro feature to execute a python script installed by libreoffice and abuse it to execute any local program with parameters without any prompt. Additionally other supported scripting languages in Libreoffice as well as other interesting features will be explored and differences to OpenOffice.

As software like Imagemagick is using libreoffice for file conversion, potential security issue on the server side will be explained as well. This focuses on certain problems and limitations an attacker has to work with regarding the macro support and other threats like polyglot files or local file path informations.

Lastly the potential threats will be summed up to raise awareness regarding any support for file formats and what precausions should be taken.

This was presented at Security Fest 2019.

Speakers: Alex Inführ

About Alex Inführ

Alex Inführ

As a Senior Penetration Tester with Cure53, Alex is an expert on browser security and PDF security. His cardinal skillset relates to spotting and abusing ways for uncommon script execution in MSIE, Firefox and Chrome. Alex’s additional research foci revolve around SVG security and Adobe products used in the web context. He has worked with Cure53 for multiple years with a focus on web security, JavaScript sandboxes and file format issues.

He presented his research at conferences like Appsec Amsterdam, Appsec Belfast, ItSecX and mulitple OWASP chapters. As part of his research as a co-author for the 'Cure53 Browser Security White Paper', sponsored by Google, he investigated on the security of browser extensions.

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