Feeds

OpenOffice hits back at viral risk claims

Safe as houses

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

OpenOffice.org has hit back at claims that the alternative office applications suite is riddled with security holes. Researchers at the French Ministry of Defense say that OpenOffice is subject to security weaknesses that make it at least as susceptible to computer viruses as the commercial, more widely used, Microsoft Office.

The French research paper, entitled an In-depth analysis of the viral threats with OpenOffice.org documents (PDF), looked at four proof-of-concept viruses and a variety of attack scenarios before concluding that the "general security of OpenOffice is insufficient," IDG reports. Among the risks highlighted were the possibility of creating malicious macros targeting OpenOffice documents.

"The viral hazard attached to OpenOffice.org is at least as high as that for the Microsoft Office suite, and even higher when considering some... aspects," the researchers, information security specialists at the French Ministry of Defense's Signal Corps, said. Their paper is due to be published Paris-based Journal in Computer Virology.

Aside from making the obvious point that Microsoft Office is the frequent target of viral attack, unlike OpenOffice, the developers behind the open source desktop productivity suite say a software bug discovered by the French researchers has already been fixed. "The one real flaw in the programming logic has been fixed," Louis Suarez-Potts, an OpenOffice.org community manager, told IDG. "The others are theoretical."

Nonetheless OpenOffice.org has opened up a dialog with the French researchers with the aim of improving the overall security of the software suite. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.