Hackers attack using second Word flaw

Microsoft has warned of a second critical vulnerability in its Word software

With its monthly security updates due out Tuesday, Microsoft has a new problem to worry about: Word flaws.

The software vendor on Sunday confirmed a report that criminals are e-mailing maliciously crafted Word attachments to victims. While these attacks are not widespread, they are dangerous because the attacker could run unauthorized software on the victim's computer if the attachment is opened.

This is the second such Word attack to be confirmed by Microsoft in the past week. Last Tuesday, Microsoft warned of a similar Word flaw, saying that it was aware of "limited attacks attempting to use the vulnerability."

Over the past year, hackers have increasingly looked to Microsoft's Office suite as a source of new bugs. Attacks based on flaws in Excel and PowerPoint have been reported as well.

Exploits of this latest flaw appear to be even rarer than those based on last week's Word bug.

"The vulnerability is being exploited on a very, very limited and targeted basis," Microsoft said in its alert.

Neither problem is expected to be fixed in Tuesday's software patches, which will address flaws in Windows and Visual Studio.

This second bug affects Word 2000, 2002, 2003 and the Word Viewer 2003, which are all vulnerable to last week's bug as well. The most recent version of the software, Word 2007, which was released to business users in late November, is not affected, Microsoft said.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?