Microsoft warns of Word security issue

The flaw concerns macros, small scripts that can be used in Word to automate or speed up a number of operations. Normally, when documents are opened, the word processing software checks them for macros and warns the user if any are present, offering the option to allow them to be run or not. Word also checks any documents that the first file links to for macros, including templates.

The flaw comes into play in the unlikely instance that a user opens an RTF (rich text format) file that references a template with a macro embedded in it, Microsoft said. In this situation, when the RTF is opened, a macro can be run without warning the user. Such a macro could make some changes to Word, including enabling macros, even if the user had previously turned them off, according to the company.

Because the flaw only affects Word 97 and higher, and then only RTF files linked to a template, not Word files or unlinked RTF files, the flaw appears to be minor. Microsoft has issued a patch to fix the bug.

Macros have long been the province of annoying, but usually not terribly destructive, viruses.

The security bulletin and patches can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS01-028.asp.

Join the newsletter!

Or

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.

Sam Costello

PC World
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

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?