Security Vulnerabilities In Certain MS Word Versions Reported

Recently, it was reported that some of the Microsoft Word versions suffer from a type of security vulnerability that makes these systems easy targets for hacking attacks. Not many details have been released so far about this security flaw in MS Word – for obvious reasons. But, it has something to do with the processing of the Rich Text Format (RTF) files in MS Word.

How these hacking attacks happen?

Hackers are taking advantage of this security flaw and designing special RTF files that would be emailed to your email account. When you open this RTF file attachment in your Outlook application, your system is infected. This is because Microsoft Outlook is a part of the MS Office suite and therefore, it would use the MS Word application in the system to process Word and RTF files.

Now, according to the statement issued by Microsoft, the following MS Word versions suffer from this security flaw – MS Word 2013, 2007 and 2003, some of the Microsoft SharePoint Server versions and the Microsoft Office for Mac, 2011 version. If you open the hacker-coded RTF message in Outlook, the hacker would be able to exploit this vulnerability and gain the same level of access to the system as the user.

Microsoft to release a Microsoft Fix It solution for this problem

Microsoft has since released the following statement – “Microsoft is aware of a vulnerability affecting supported versions of Microsoft Word. At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted RTF file using an affected version of Microsoft Word or previews or opens a specially crafted RTF e-mail message in Microsoft Outlook while using Microsoft Word as the e-mail viewer.”

As experts at Microsoft works to find a permanent solution to this problem, Microsoft would release a temporary fix in the form of a Microsoft Fix It application to protect the affected systems. Therefore, it is important that you update your Windows OS or the MS Office suite in the coming days to download and install this update.

A better option is to use some other application as the default program for reading the RTF files in your system, disabling the RTF format support in your Outlook, etc. For more details about this problem, visit the Microsoft tech support page online.
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