Microsoft discloses zero-day flaw, publishes quick fix

Attacks are under way using PowerPoint file, the company said

Microsoft has published a temporary fix for a new zero-day flaw that affects nearly all versions of Windows and is currently being exploited via PowerPoint.

The flaw affects all Windows releases except Windows Server 2003, the company wrote in an advisory Tuesday. It can be exploited if a user is coaxed into opening a malicious Office file containing an OLE (object linking and embedding) object. OLE can allow a user to edit a PowerPoint file from within a Word document, for example.

"At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit the vulnerability through Microsoft PowerPoint," the company said.

A successful attacker would gain the same rights as a logged-in user and could put other programs on an infected computer. Microsoft said some attacks that compromise accounts without administrator rights may pose less of a risk.

The fix, which Microsoft calls the "OLE packager shim workaround," is for 32- and 64-bit versions of PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Microsoft said attacks could take place via email, with the attacker sending a potential victim a malicious file or by luring a person to a compromised website containing "specially crafted content."

"An attacker would have to persuade the targeted user to visit the website, typically by getting them to click a hyperlink that directs a web browser to the attacker-controlled website," Microsoft wrote.

The User Account Control feature in Windows will display a consent or elevation prompt during an attack, depending on the privileges of the user before the malicious file is run, Microsoft said. UAC is enabled by default on Vista and newer OSes.

Earlier this month, on Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released eight security bulletins, which fixed three zero-day vulnerabilities at the same time, a rare occurrence.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags patchesMicrosoftsecurityExploits / vulnerabilities

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?