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. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  2. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  3. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  4. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  5. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  8. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  9. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  11. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  12. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  13. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  14. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  15. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  17. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  18. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  19. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  20. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  21. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  22. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  23. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus



  24. Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  25. GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

    Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux



  26. The ITC's and US Media's Surprisingly Soft Treatment of Patent Bully Apple

    Despite Apple's history of initiating patent aggression against its competition (mostly Android-backing companies), the US corporate media treats Apple like a victim



  27. Microsoft Continues to Attack (and Tax) Linux Using Software Patents

    Microsoft stabs Linux in the back while it continues to insist that it 'loves' Linux



  28. European Unitary Patent Decision Due 5th of May

    The meta-industry of patent protectionism is debating and pushing forth the Unitary Patent Court, with or without endorsement from the European public



  29. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing 'Open Source'

    Microsoft's massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the "Open Source" brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast



  30. Links 11/4/2015: elementary OS Freya, Mageia 5 on the Way

    Links for the day


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