Microsoft WordPad, a basic text editor, has been an integral part of the Windows ecosystem since the early versions of the popular operating system. Despite its simplicity, it is still susceptible to security vulnerabilities, and one of these potential threats has recently been discovered. The vulnerability, labeled CVE-2023-36563, is an information disclosure vulnerability that allows an attacker to potentially access sensitive information available on the victim's machine.

In this post, we'll discuss the details of this vulnerability as well as provide related code snippets. Additionally, we will link to the original sources of information and share some ways to exploit, and more importantly, how to mitigate this threat effectively.

Vulnerability Details

According to the *Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures* (CVE) database entry, CVE-2023-36563 is a vulnerability in Microsoft WordPad which can be exploited by a remote attacker to disclose potentially sensitive information. [^1^]

This information disclosure could give an attacker access to sensitive data, such as personal details, passwords, or encryption keys, which they could use to carry out further attacks or identity theft.

Exploitation Techniques

An attacker can exploit this vulnerability through specially crafted files. When a victim opens the malicious file using WordPad, the vulnerability will be triggered, potentially leading to the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information.

One possible code snippet that might be used in a crafted file to exploit CVE-2023-36563 could look like:

# Malicious Code Snippet
def exploit_wordpad_cve202336563():
  # Trigger vulnerability

  # Retrieve sensitive information
  sensitive_data = retrieve_information()

  # Send the information to the attacker

Though the above code is a simplified example, it demonstrates the exploitation process. It is vital to note that various means can be used to deliver malicious files, such as through email attachments, drive-by downloads, or even social engineering.

The following sources provide more information about CVE-2023-36563

1. CVE entry: [^1^] <>
2. Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) advisory: [^2^]
3. National Vulnerability Database (NVD) entry: [^3^]

To protect oneself from this vulnerability, it is advisable to

1. Keep your software up-to-date: Regularly update your WordPad application and Windows operating system with the latest security patches to protect against known vulnerabilities.

2. Use caution when opening attachments: Be wary of opening attachments from unknown sources, and always scrutinize the file type to ensure it matches the content you're expecting.

3. Employ security software: Use a reputable antivirus solution as an additional layer of defense to detect and remove potentially harmful files.

4. Implement least privilege: Limit the permissions granted to your user account, preventing the execution of malicious code and minimizing the effects of potential attacks.


The mentioned CVE-2023-36563 security vulnerability has the potential to expose sensitive information to an attacker. By understanding the nature of the vulnerability, how it could be exploited, and the available mitigation steps, we hope this post will give users a head-start in protecting themselves and their systems from potential attacks that utilize this vulnerability.

It's essential to stay informed of the latest vulnerabilities and security updates to maintain a secure computing environment. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of your information and systems security being compromised.



Published on: 10/10/2023 18:15:13 UTC
Last modified on: 10/13/2023 18:59:39 UTC