LibreOffice 3.5.5 addresses multiple arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities

LibreOffice and OpenOffice packages containing security patches have been released for multiple Linux distributions

Version 3.5.5 of the LibreOffice free personal productivity suite contains fixes for multiple security vulnerabilities that could be exploited to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the active user, according to The Document Foundation -- the organization overseeing the software's development.

LibreOffice 3.5.5 was released on July 11, but the security advisory describing the vulnerabilities was published on Tuesday.

"An attacker could create a specially-crafted file in the Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) format which when opened could cause arbitrary code execution," The Document Foundation said in the advisory.

The vulnerabilities are collectively identified as CVE-2012-2665 and were also fixed in LibreOffice 3.6.0 -- a version that hasn't yet reached the final stage of development, but is available to download as a release candidate.

The vulnerability disclosure was most likely delayed in order to give Linux operating system vendors enough time to backport the necessary patches to whatever LibreOffice versions they bundle with their respective Linux distributions.

According to an entry in Linux vendor Red Hat's bug tracker, the vulnerabilities were located in the XML encryption handling code of both LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org -- the software project from which LibreOffice was forked. The bug entry was marked as both high priority and high severity.

Red Hat released updated OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice packages for both Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 6. Users are advised to upgrade to these updated packages, which contain backported patches to correct the issues, Red Hat said in three security advisories published on Tuesday.

The company also contributed an updated LibreOffice package for Fedora 16 that should be distributed to all Fedora Project package repository servers within a couple of days.

Linux vendor Novell released updated LibreOffice packages for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and a LibreOffice update is also available for Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin).

Windows and Mac users can download LibreOffice 3.5.5 from the project's official website. However, it's not clear if the latest Windows and Mac versions of OpenOffice also address these vulnerabilities as well.

Oracle donated the OpenOffice code to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in June 2011. The only stable version released under ASF's stewardship since then was Apache OpenOffice 3.4 on May 8.

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