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
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
97% of Americans Can't Ace a Basic Security Test
Steve Zurier, Contributing Writer,  5/20/2019
TeamViewer Admits Breach from 2016
Dark Reading Staff 5/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5798
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Lack of correct bounds checking in Skia in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform an out of bounds memory read via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5799
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect inheritance of a new document's policy in Content Security Policy in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5800
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Insufficient policy enforcement in Blink in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to bypass content security policy via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5801
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect eliding of URLs in Omnibox in Google Chrome on iOS prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2019-5802
PUBLISHED: 2019-05-23
Incorrect handling of download origins in Navigation in Google Chrome prior to 73.0.3683.75 allowed a remote attacker to perform domain spoofing via a crafted HTML page.