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Microsoft probes new Office vulnerability

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Just when the world thought it was safe to resume use of Microsoft Office, there's word that a new zero-day attack may be targeting the popular productivity package. Like so many of the others, it's capable of all kinds of mischief, including the execution of malicious code on a victim's machine.

It's been a busy few months for the boys and girls who plug the holes in the Microsoft Office dike. It was only Tuesday that they patched six Office holes that already were being exploited in the wild. Now they're investigating reports of a new critical vulnerability in the 2000 and XP versions of Office.

Security researchers have speculated that the days just following Microsoft's Patch Tuesday provide an opportune Window for cybercrooks to introduce new exploits. The software company is hesitant to issue patches outside its normal schedule, ensuring that these attacks have a longer shelf life, the reasoning goes. This latest Office exploit appears to support this theory.

As usual, a person would have to open a specially rigged Office document to fall victim to this latest attack. The company says users shouldn't open documents whose origins are unknown. Oh, and don't brush your teeth with a brick. ®

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