Malicious Word attachment wreaks havoc on Windows and Office, Microsoft offers temporary fix
Microsoft has rolled out Security Advisory 2896666, which deals with an attack that is disguised as an email requesting potential targets to open a specially crafted Word attachment. While Microsoft is working on a security fix, the company has rolled out a temporary solution to help mitigate the issue.
This Security Advisory affects Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Office 2003 to Office 2010, and all supported versions of Microsoft Lync. Apparently, a malicious Word document is floating around as an email attachment which, when opened or previewed, attempts to exploit the vulnerability using a malformed graphics image embedded in the Word file. If the attack is successful, the attacker would gain the same rights as the computer user.
This attack is mainly occurring in the Middle East and South Asia, but can happen elsewhere. Of course, Microsoft recommends not clicking suspicious links or opening email messages from unfamiliar senders.
“As a best practice, we always encourage customers to follow the “Protect Your Computer” guidance of enabling a firewall, applying all software updates and installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software. We also encourage customers to exercise caution when visiting websites and avoid clicking suspicious links or opening email messages from unfamiliar senders,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
As Microsoft continues to work on a security fix for this issue, the company has provided a temporary fix-it solution:
- Apply the Microsoft Fix it solution, “Disable the TIFF Codec” that prevents exploitation of the issue
- Deploy the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)