Feeds

OpenOffice hits back at viral risk claims

Safe as houses

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Heatmiser digital thermostat users: For pity's sake, DON'T SWITCH ON the WI-FI
A stranger turns up YOUR heat with default password 1234
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.