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Malicious Office Documents Cause Security Woes


Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins describing seven vulnerabilities found in components that ship with Microsoft Office XP and 2003 for Windows, and Office 2004 for Mac. These bulletins do not affect the more current versions of Office, such as 2007 Microsoft Office System or Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac.

The vulnerabilities affect different versions of Office to varying degrees. Though the seven vulnerabilities differ technically, and affect two different Office components, they share the same scope and impact. By enticing one of your users into downloading and opening a maliciously crafted Office document, an attacker can exploit any of these vulnerabilities to execute code on a victim’s computer, usually inheriting that user’s level of privileges and permissions. If your user has local administrative privileges, the attacker gains full control of the user’s machine.

According to Microsoft’s bulletins, an attacker can exploit these flaws using many different types of Office documents. In one bulletin, Microsoft specifically states PowerPoint documents are vulnerable. However, they also mention any "Office file" in their other alert. Therefore, we recommend you beware of all unexpected Office documents.

If you’d like to learn more about each individual flaw, drill into the "Vulnerability Details" section of the security bulletins listed below:

  •  MS10-003: Multiple PowerPoint Code Execution Vulnerabilities, rated Important
  •  MS10-004: Microsoft Office MSO.DLL Code Execution Vulnerability, rated Important
Solution Path

Microsoft has released patches for Office to correct all of these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate patches throughout your network immediately, or let the Microsoft Automatic Update feature do it for you.



PowerPoint update for:

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