This is a maldoc analysis submitted by reader Ahmed Elshaer.


I have come across a malicious rtf file that can be found here. I have started investigating it as usual using Didier Tool rtfdump.

As you can see it have a lot of nested strings, and only one of the strings had a control word of an object although it was not marked by as object 'O'.

By selecting the object 157 and hex decoding the output, we can see that this object is calling Equation Editor EQNEDT32.EXE, which is another Microsoft component.

We can see all the strings in that object.

I tried to run this rtf file on a sandbox to see what this object can do, I found that it uses a Stack buffer overflow vulnerability in Equation Editor which is referenced CVE-2017-11882 this Vulnerability allow it to run code, like here to downloaded a vbscript which contains a powershell encoded base64 command. This code was downloaded from pastebin.

This Powershell encoded command here can be decoded using base64dump.

And we can see it gets downloaded as svchost.exe which then will be executed as you can see in the VBScript.

Exploit Poc:


Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

I saw an interesting report [1] this week released last month (June 2019) by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) about the increase complexity dealing with network security. The report highlights these three things:

  • Increase in the past 2 years where network security is more complex and challenging (83% of those survey agree)
  • Business difficulty keeping up with network security (i.e. wrong network security, process and controls)
  • Looking for new types of network security that includes consolidation and architecture featuring centralizing management

The report identified three main factors related to the increase in network security complexity. The attack surface and the workload are both growing and the threats and vulnerabilities are more complex to identify and deal with. The security team has to keep up with more devices that add complexity to a network (IoT, tablets, phones, laptops, cloud computing, etc) that are now widely integrated to the enterprise. Complex security events can lead to short or extended network outages, application or network availability, loss of proprietary data and/or productivity.

In The Need for Change section, the report highlight the following priorities: "[...] the biggest factors driving network security include preventing/detecting malware threats (47%), regulatory compliance (42%), support for cloud computing initiatives (38%), and the need for network security to be more scalable to support dynamic business processes and new business initiatives (34%)."[1]

What keeps you up at night? Are your priorities similar to those identified in this report?


Guy Bruneau IPSS Inc.
My Handler Page
Twitter: GuyBruneau
gbruneau at isc dot sans dot edu

(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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