Macs vulnerable through hole in IE and MS Office

A flaw that when exploited could allow an attacker to take control of a user's system exists in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Office for the Mac, Microsoft warned late Tuesday.

The Redmond, Washington, software giant released a cumulative patch that fixes all vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer 5.1 for Macintosh and Office v. X previously identified by Microsoft, plus two new vulnerabilities. Microsoft in a security bulletin urged all customers running the Internet Explorer Web browser and Office for Macintosh to apply the "critical" patches.

The most serious of the two new vulnerabilities is a buffer overrun flaw that affects both Internet Explorer and Office for the Mac. An attacker could run arbitrary code on a user's Mac by creating a specially formed Web page. The user would have to visit that page, view it as e-mail in Outlook or Entourage, or open a Mac Office file with the page for an attack to be carried out, Microsoft said. Entourage is the e-mail client and personal information management program included with Office v. X.

The second newly patched vulnerability allows an attacker to run AppleScript on a user's machine, without first launching the Helper application. This flaw affects Internet Explorer for Mac OS 8 and 9 only, Microsoft said. An attacker could craft a Web page that would, for example, shut down a vulnerable Mac if its user were to visit the page containing the malicious code.

AppleScript is a system-level scripting level used to automate common tasks, such as shutting down the computer or closing windows. An attacker can only run AppleScripts already on the system, there is no way for an attacker to deliver a script of choice through this vulnerability, Microsoft said.

Microsoft's security bulletin MS02-019 can be found online at:

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joris Evers

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?