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Microsoft's Office Patches Fix Word and Excel
Severity: High
10 November, 2009
§ These vulnerabilities affect: Current versions of Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac (also affects Word and Excel Viewer, and the Office Compatibility Pack)
§ How an attacker exploits them: By enticing you to open maliciously crafted Word or Excel documents
§ Impact: An attacker can execute code, potentially gaining complete control of your computer
§ What to do: Install the appropriate Office patches immediately, or let Microsoft's Automatic Update do it for you.
Today, Microsoft released two security bulletins describing nine vulnerabilities found in Word and Excel, which ship with Microsoft Office for Windows and Mac. Some of the vulnerabilities also affect Microsoft's Word and Excel Viewer, and the Office Compatibility Packs. Each vulnerability affects different versions of Office to a different extent. The nine flaws affect disparate components and applications within Office, but the end result is always the same: By enticing one of your users into downloading and opening a maliciously crafted Office document, an attacker can exploit any of these vulnerabilities to execute code on a victim's computer, usually inheriting that user's level of privileges and permissions. If your user has local administrative privileges, the attacker gains full control of the user's machine.
According to Microsoft's bulletins, an attacker can exploit these flaws using two types of Office documents: Word (.doc), and Excel (.xls). So beware of all unexpected documents you receive with these file extensions.
If you'd like to learn more about each individual flaw, drill into the "Vulnerability Details" section of the security bulletins listed below:
§ MS09-067: Multiple Excel Code Execution Vulnerabilities, rated Important
§ MS09-068: Word Code Execution Vulnerability, rated Important
Solution Path
Microsoft has released patches for Office to correct all of these vulnerabilities. You should download, test, and deploy the appropriate patches throughout your network immediately.
Excel update for:
Word update for:


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