Feeds

Zero day Word flaw exploited by Trojan

The one that got away

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Microsoft warns that an unpatched Word vulnerability has become the subject of targeted attacks.

The flaw - which is restricted to Microsoft Office Word 2002 Service Pack 3 - creates a mechanism for hackers to inject hostile code onto vulnerable systems. Redmond has published workarounds as a stop-gap measure while its researchers investigate the flaw in greater depth.

In the meantime, Microsoft is keen to downplay alarm. "At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks attempting to use the reported vulnerability, but we will continue to track this issue," a post on its security response blog explains.

The vulnerability has appeared in a number of samples on malware. A widening number of anti-virus firms have issued signature updates to defend against the threat. Symantec, acting on samples sent to it by handlers at the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre, was the first to publish an advisory.

The timing of the arrival of the exploit means Microsoft had insufficient time to respond before its regular Patch Tuesday update, a factor that's unlikely to be a coincidence. The ins and out of the flaw are still under investigation and will probably be withheld until a fix is unavailable. It's also unclear who the attack is targeting, though historically unpatched Word exploits are a particular favourite of Chinese hackers. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.