Feeds

Excel Trojan targets unpatched flaws

Another day, another zero-day threat

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Virus authors have reportedly created a Trojan that exploits an unpatched vulnerability in a range of versions of Excel.

The malware comes in the form of a maliciously constructed spreadsheet file with a malicious payload identified by McAfee, for example, as the BackDoor-DUE trojan. Many versions of Excel are vulnerable, including 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2004/2008 for Mac, Excel Viewer/Excel Viewer 2003.

Opening up an infected file using vulnerable software packages creates a backdoor. Attacks thus far are "very targeted and limited" and similar in this respect to malware targeting the also unpatched Adobe PDF flaw, McAfee reports.

Microsoft said it was investigating reports of the vulnerability and its exploitation, in a holding statement. It's a toss up at the time as to whether an out-of-sequence patch will follow or whether Microsoft elects to wait two weeks until the next scheduled Patch Tuesday update or (if fixing the flaw turns out to be (particularly tricky) even longer before releasing a patch.

In the meantime, users are urged to practice caution, especially about Excel files from untrusted sources. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
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?
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
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
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!
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.