Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

Guest Blog // Selected Security Content Provided By Sophos
What's This?
4/3/2009
12:33 PM
Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
Security Insights
50%
50%

IT Staff Wait For Critical Zero-Day PowerPoint Fix

You may have experienced the soul-destroying feeling of sitting through a far-too-long corporate presentation, but a new critical flaw could deliver a far more serious case of "Death by PowerPoint."

You may have experienced the soul-destroying feeling of sitting through a far-too-long corporate presentation, but a new critical flaw could deliver a far more serious case of "Death by PowerPoint."Yes, IT system administrators are being warned today about a critical security vulnerability in select versions of Microsoft PowerPoint, which is being used by hackers to install malicious code without user intervention.

Microsoft has confirmed that a critical vulnerability exists in some versions of Microsoft Office PowerPoint, which is allowing malicious attackers to run unauthorized code on users' computers.

Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2000 Service Pack 3, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2002 Service Pack 3, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 Service Pack 3, and Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac are all affected. Meantime, users of current versions -- Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 and Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 -- can breath easy.

Of course, PowerPoint is commonly used in the business environment for delivering corporate presentations, and hackers are attempting to trick workers into opening malicious PPT attachments that could exploit the flaw and install malware onto computers.

Sophos has seen a number of samples of malware exploiting the vulnerability, and will shortly be releasing protection against them as Troj/ExpPPT-A. You can read more about our assessment of the vulnerability in our analysis.

So the big question is...when will Microsoft get its patch out? Its next scheduled megapatch is due on Tuesday, April 14, but it's unclear whether they will be able to create and properly test a fix in time for distribution.

In the meantime, cybercriminals have a window of opportunity to infect computers. Be warned: They've shown themselves not to be slow coaches when it comes to taking advantage of a weakness like this.

So take action now. Make sure your antivirus software is configured to automatically update as security vendors rush out detection routines, and ensure your staff knows not to open unsolicited or unknown PowerPoint files -- just in case they are carrying a dangerous payload.

Graham Cluley is senior technology consultant at Sophos, and has been working in the computer security field since the early 1990s. When he's not updating his other blog on the Sophos website you can find him on Twitter at @gcluley. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/2/2020
Ripple20 Threatens Increasingly Connected Medical Devices
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  6/30/2020
DDoS Attacks Jump 542% from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020
Dark Reading Staff 6/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-9498
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
Apache Guacamole 1.1.0 and older may mishandle pointers involved inprocessing data received via RDP static virtual channels. If a userconnects to a malicious or compromised RDP server, a series ofspecially-crafted PDUs could result in memory corruption, possiblyallowing arbitrary code to be executed...
CVE-2020-3282
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
A vulnerability in the web-based management interface of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition, Cisco Unified Communications Manager IM & Presence Service, and Cisco Unity Connection could allow an unauthenticated, remote attack...
CVE-2020-5909
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, when users run the command displayed in NGINX Controller user interface (UI) to fetch the agent installer, the server TLS certificate is not verified.
CVE-2020-5910
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the Neural Autonomic Transport System (NATS) messaging services in use by the NGINX Controller do not require any form of authentication, so any successful connection would be authorized.
CVE-2020-5911
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-02
In versions 3.0.0-3.5.0, 2.0.0-2.9.0, and 1.0.1, the NGINX Controller installer starts the download of Kubernetes packages from an HTTP URL On Debian/Ubuntu system.