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OpenOffice update fixes security bug trio

Patch availability eases document woes

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OpenOffice.org has released a security update to its alternative office productivity suite following the discovery of three potentially serious security vulnerabilities during an internal audit.

Both 1.1.x and the newer 2.0.x releases of the software are affected. Users are advised to update to version 2.0.3 or to wait for an upcoming patch to version 1.1.5 of the code.

The first of the three flaws means that Java applets can break out of a secure 'sandbox' in which they are designed to execute. Next up there's a security bug in the processing of macros which means macros might be invoked even when a user has disabled the function. Finally, flaws in the parsing of XML file formats mean that maliciously constructed files could be used to trigger a buffer overflow thereby potentially allowing a hacker to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems. Users are able to disable Java applets as a workaround against the first flaw, but the other security bugs require patching.

A security bulleting from OpenOffice.org can be found here.

StarOffice, the commercial office productivity software based on the code used in OpenOffice, is affected by the equivalent three security bugs. Patches to StarOffice/StarSuite 8.x and 7.x (and StarOffice 6.x) are available to address the problem.

A notice from security notification firm Secunia provides a summary of the issue along with links to the relevant advisories. ®

The next step in data security

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