Microsoft Outlook Users Face Zero-Day AttackSimply previewing maliciously crafted RTF documents in Outlook triggers exploit of bug present in Windows and Mac versions of Word, Microsoft warns
There is a new zero-day attack campaign that's using malicious RTF documents to exploit vulnerable Outlook users on Windows and Mac OS X systems, even if the emailed documents are only previewed.
That warning was sounded Monday by Microsoft, which said that it's seen "limited, targeted attacks" in the wild that exploit a newly discovered Microsoft Word RTF file format parser flaw, which can be used to corrupt system memory and execute arbitrary attack code.
"An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user," said a Microsoft's security advisory. "If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights."
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Mathew Schwartz is a freelance writer, editor, and photographer, as well the InformationWeek information security reporter.
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