AUSCERT External Security Bulletin Redistribution

             ESB-2002.202 -- CIAC TECH BULLETIN CIACTech02-003
            Protecting Office for Mac X Antipiracy Server Ports
                                1 May 2002


        AusCERT Security Bulletin Summary

Product:                Microsoft Office
Vendor:                 Microsoft
Operating System:       Macintosh OS X
Impact:                 Reduced Security
Access Required:        Remote

- --------------------------BEGIN INCLUDED TEXT--------------------



                       The U.S. Department of Energy
                     Computer Incident Advisory Center
                           ___  __ __    _     ___
                          /       |     /_   /
                          \___  __|__  /     \___
                              TECHNICAL BULLETIN 
              Protecting Office for Mac X Antipiracy Server Ports

April 26, 2002 17:00 GMT                                 Number CIACTech02-003
PROBLEM:       Microsoft Office for Macintosh OS X has an antipiracy mechanism
               that secretly opens network service ports on a Macintosh system
               and broadcasts version information to other systems on a single
               subnet. The problem is that open network services provide
               attack points for intruders and need to be controlled by users. 
PLATFORM:      Microsoft Office for Macintosh OS X or any part of Office for
               OS X.
               Site licensed versions of Office for Macintosh OS X (where all
               installations have the same serial number) do not have this
               mechanism enabled. 
ABSTRACT:      The applications in Microsoft Office for Macintosh OS X contain
               a piracy detection mechanism that broadcasts access information
               to port 2222 on the local subnet. Other Office applications 
               listen for these broadcasts and compare the product IDs to 
               their own to determine if there is a license violation. If a 
               license violation has occurred the two machines exchange 
               additional information, decide which of the two applications 
               must shut down, and shut down the offending application. The 
               information passed between the machines has been either hashed
               or encrypted so port and serial number information is not 
               discernable from simply sniffing network traffic. The offending
               copy of the office application is gracefully shutdown so the 
               user can save files and not lose anything. The difficulty is 
               that for each office application that is running there is an 
               open tcp server port at a port number greater than 3000 plus
               a udp server at port 2222. These ports are opened in secret by
               Office applications and remain open as long as the Office 
               application is running. While the Office applications only
               send information to machines on the local subnet, the service
               ports are open to whomever can send packets to them. These
               ports have already been the cause of one vulnerability (see 
               Microsoft bulletin MS02-002). This paper describes how to
               protect these ports from attack by outsiders.  
 CIAC BULLETIN:      http://www.ciac.org/ciac/techbull/CIACTech02-003.shtml  
 OTHER LINKS:        MS02-002 Malformed Network Request Can Cause Office v. X 
                     for Mac to Fail


Note: While the protection mechanisms described in this paper may defeat the 
piracy detection mechanism in Microsoft Office for OS X, CIAC in no way
endorses software piracy. Users are admonished to read and abide by their
license agreements.

Version: 4.0 Business Edition


- --------------------------END INCLUDED TEXT--------------------

You have received this e-mail bulletin as a result of your organisation's
registration with AusCERT. The mailing list you are subscribed to is
maintained within your organisation, so if you do not wish to continue
receiving these bulletins you should contact your local IT manager. If
you do not know who that is, please send an email to auscert@auscert.org.au
and we will forward your request to the appropriate person.

This security bulletin is provided as a service to AusCERT's members.  As
AusCERT did not write the document quoted above, AusCERT has had no control
over its content.  The decision to use any or all of this information is
the responsibility of each user or organisation, and should be done so in
accordance with site policies and procedures.

NOTE: This is only the original release of the security bulletin.  It may
not be updated when updates to the original are made.  If downloading at
a later date, it is recommended that the bulletin is retrieved directly
from the original authors to ensure that the information is still current.

Contact information for the authors of the original document is included
in the Security Bulletin above.  If you have any questions or need further
information, please contact them directly.

Previous advisories and external security bulletins can be retrieved from:


If you believe that your system has been compromised, contact AusCERT or
your representative in FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security

Internet Email: auscert@auscert.org.au
Facsimile:	(07) 3365 7031
Telephone:	(07) 3365 4417 (International: +61 7 3365 4417)
		AusCERT personnel answer during Queensland business hours
		which are GMT+10:00 (AEST).
		On call after hours for emergencies.

Version: 2.6.3i
Charset: noconv
Comment: ftp://ftp.auscert.org.au/pub/auscert/AUSCERT_PGP.key