EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.25.09

Confirmed: Microsoft OOXML a Security Hazard

Posted in Formats, Google, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenOffice, Security at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

flickr:2400867976

SEVERAL MONTHS ago we warned that OOXML is not secure. Its dependence on a particular platform and office suite rendered it insecure by design just like those ‘origin’ formats, namely binaries, which it merely shuffled around (reassembled).

It is now official and also confirmed that OOXML files are not just insecure but there are also persistent attacks against new flaws (without any security patches being available, i.e. zero-day). To quote one of the more recent reports:

Some Open XML based products as Microsoft Excel are affected by a security flaw and the Trojan.Mdropper.AC.

There is fairly wide coverage of this problem, e.g. in:

Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program has a 0-day vulnerability that attackers are exploiting on the Internet, according to security vendor Symantec.

A 0-day vulnerability is one that does not have a patch and is actively being used to attack computers when it is publicly revealed.

Heise Online calls this vulnerability “critical” (highest level of severity by another one Microsoft’s ‘standards’).

According to unconfirmed reports, the anti-virus manufacturer Symantec has found a trojan that seems to use a security hole in Microsoft Excel to remotely execute code on a user’s system. The attack is triggered by opening a maliciously crafted Excel file, causing an unspecified remote code-execution vulnerability.

One reader points out that “Microsoft is continuing its war against a universal office format.

“Notice in particular: ‘will be unable to open Office 2003 files or earlier versions in Office 2003 or 2007 Microsoft Office System

“What kind of hell is this causing in agencies, big businesses and schools? It’s not like they don’t have or could live with out the terabytes of electronic records now locked out by the kludge outlined above.”

Such problems could first be seen a year ago when Microsoft’s OOXML crimes were still prevalent. To make matters worse, Microsoft will continue to drift further away from ECMA OOXML, probably to gravitate in its own proprietary direction. Office 14, for example, is not committed to any real standards and according to yesterday’s report from Mary Jo Foley, it’s already delayed anyway.

Ballmer: Office 14 not this year

[...]

However, last year, more than a few times execs slipped up and indicated Office 14 would ship in 2009.

Things are not working well for Redmond these days. For real profit, Microsoft is highly dependent on Office which is its most profitable product (and one of the few that are actually profitable). Unless Microsoft can reinforce planned obsolescence and convince people to buy an upgrade they do not need, there’s great trouble ahead. The economic meltdown does not help.

OpenOffice.org makes a remarkably familiar substitute and Google Apps, among other SaaS alternatives, gain momentum despite the slew of disinformation from former Microsoft employees (masquerading as research firms).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  2. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  3. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  4. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  5. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  6. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  9. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  10. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  11. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  12. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  14. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  15. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  16. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  17. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  18. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  19. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  20. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  21. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  22. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  23. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  24. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  25. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  26. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  27. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  28. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)



  30. Microsoft -- Like David Cameron -- Attacking the Computer Security Industry

    Microsoft's latest moves that help expose its real policy when it comes to computer security and people's privacy


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts