Microsoft Patches Problem In App That Spread Malware — Microsoft Office Hack

Microsoft Zero Day attacks see hackers target Word users with new bug that affects every version

Security researchers over at security firm McAfee are warning Office users regarding a zero-day security flaw within the productivity suite, which has been used by criminals to attack unsuspecting people since January.

Microsoft Tuesday patched a previously undisclosed Word zero-day vulnerability attackers used to install a variety of malware on victims' computers. This connects to a remote server in the background and downloads a file that contains a HTML application content file that looks like a Microsoft document, but executes it as an.hta file.

Security researchers FireEye has revealed a new vulnerability in Word based on Windows Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), and which is now doing the rounds. The security researchers who discovered this vulnerability say that it is different from other Word exploits seen in the past because it does not require the user to enable Macros. The latter said it had shared the details of the Office security exploit with Microsoft and had been withholding details for the company to be able to deliver a patch before going public with the information. Microsoft has confirmed it will send a patch tomorrow on Patch Tuesday.

McAfee told users not to open any Office files obtained from untrusted sources, especially from emails.

Microsoft has been quick off the mark to release a patch for the vulnerability, which also affected Office 2016.

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The students, who were in hospitals in critical condition Monday afternoon, did not appear to be specifically targeted, they said. A school police officer is assigned to every LAUSD high school and numerous middle schools, said LAUSD spokeswoman Monica Carazo.

The ultimate solution here is to install Microsoft's patch as soon as possible.

"[The vulnerability] was addressed in the April security update released on April 11, 2017". Researchers at Proofpoint said the malicious emails hit millions of users this week.

"The term "zero day" refers to the unknown nature of the hole to those outside of the hackers, specifically, the developers". To the user, the HTA file appears as a Microsoft Rich text document with a.doc extension.

In 2015, it was cited as the means by which cyber-attackers stole more than £20m from British bank accounts.

Ryan Hanson, a researcher at security firm Optiv and the person Microsoft credited with reporting the critical bug, said exploits can execute malicious code even when a mitigation known as Protected View isn't disabled. Both McAfee and FireEye stated that the feat can bypass most memory-based mitigations that are included in Windows. If you choose to open an attached Word document, extreme caution should be exercised before disabling Protected View.

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