Feeds

Hackers go after Excel

Poisoned spreadsheet peril

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft has warned that an unpatched vulnerability in older versions of Excel is being actively exploited by hackers.

The bug, which has become the subject of targeted attacks, affects older versions of Excel. Newer versions Excel 2003 SP3 and Excel 2007 are said to be immune. Details of the vulnerability beyond what packages might be affected remain sketchy at best.

Microsoft techies are investigating the flaw, which may become the topic of a future patch. In the meantime, Redmond is trying to play down concern by pointing out mitigating factors and suggesting defence. Its suggestion, however, that few hackers know about the bug rather misses the point that this hardly reduces the risk posed by targeted attacks against unpatched flaws.

"At this time, we are aware only of targeted attacks that attempt to use this vulnerability. Additionally, as the issue has not been publicly disclosed broadly, we believe the risk at this time to be limited," Microsoft's advisory explains.

Pending the availability of a fix, security clearing house US-CERT advises users of older versions of Excel to avoid opening unfamiliar or unexpected email attachments. Sys admins should review Microsoft's suggested workarounds, it adds. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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?