Office exploit hits the street

Rigged PowerPoint file goes public; patch with March update now, Symantec says

Attack code that targets a recently patched vulnerability in Microsoft's Office suite has gone public, a security company said Monday as it urged users to update immediately.

The exploit, which was posted yesterday to the milw0rm.com Web site, takes advantage of one of two flaws fixed by Microsoft in its MS08-016 security update. Microsoft issued the update March 11 as part of a four-bulletin batch.

"The exploit that is currently available uses a PowerPoint file to leverage the vulnerability on Office XP SP3," said Symantec analyst Anthony Roe in an alert to customers of the company's DeepSight threat network. "The payload is designed to execute the 'calc.exe' calculator program on Windows, however, it will not be difficult to modify this exploit to add a malicious payload."

According to Roe, the rigged PowerPoint file triggers the "Microsoft Office File Memory Corruption Vulnerability," one of the two vulnerabilities addressed by MS08-016. Microsoft said earlier this month that the flaw rated a "critical" label for users of Office 2000, and "important" for Office XP and Office 2003 on Windows machines, and Office 2004 for Mac. However, the company acknowledged that if successful, an attack against any of the four versions could result in the attacker wresting control of the machine from its rightful owner.

Microsoft spelled out two possible attack vectors: Enticing users to a malicious Web site that hosts a specially rigged file or feeding users malformed files as e-mail attachments.

"Customers are strongly advised to install the patches from the bulletin MS08-016 if they are not installed already, especially considering the availability of this exploit," said Roe.

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.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?