Word for Mac Exploit Released

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-10-11 Print this article Print

Yet again, an exploit has been released into the wild within days of Microsoft announcing the vulnerability.

An exploit has been found in the wild for a Word vulnerability Microsoft patched on Oct. 9. Symantec said in a posting on Oct. 10 that it had gotten its hands on a Word for Mac document that contains shell code and three pieces of malware. The file kept crashing Symantecs Word programs—with the exception of Office 2007—until the security company determined that it had been created using Word for Macintosh.
The document was, in fact, rigged to exploit a flaw that Microsoft has already seen in the wild and which the company patched earlier in the week.
The fast turnaround from Patch Tuesday to an exploit being released into the wild is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down, Symantecs Orla Cox noted in the posting. But the good news with this one, Cox said, is that at least default configurations in Office 2007 and Office 2003 Service Pack 3 offer protection to Windows users, by preventing users from opening certain Office file formats, including Office for Macintosh documents. Microsoft describes this protective behavior in this support document. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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