Microsoft patches serious Word bug targeted by scammers

Microsoft patches serious Word bug targeted by scammers

The security firm McAfee first reported the vulnerability attack on unsuspecting Word users on Friday evening. Zero-day is a flaw discovered by the hackers in Microsoft word and Microsoft office, authorities have been warned the public to be extra careful as they seemingly sneak malware into users system. "Once the file is opened, the code within connects to a remote server to download another file, this time a ".hta" file which is an executable HTML file.

McAfee said "the attacker gains full code execution on the victim's machine".

"During our testing (on Office 2010) the vulnerable system was fully exploited despite the fact that users were presented a dialog about the document containing "links that may refer to other files" [and] user interaction was not required".

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Several research groups say the bug was being exploited as early as January to remotely install a spy program for carrying out espionage created by FinSpy, associated with Germany and UK-based "lawful intercept" firm, Gamma Group, which sells nearly exclusively to nation state hackers.

Microsoft is likely to release a security update along with its next batch of updates, scheduled for Tuesday this week.

"Meanwhile, we encourage customers to practice safe computing habits online", a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement, "including exercising caution before opening unknown files and not downloading content from untrusted sources to avoid this type of issue". It's not yet known if the use of Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit prevents the malicious malware from working.

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Microsoft has said they will patch the flaw today. To the user, the HTA file appears as a Microsoft Rich text document with a.doc extension.

The researchers of McAfee said: "The successful feat closes the bait Word document, and shows a fake one to show the victim". OLE, which allows an application to embed other documents or objects, was used in 2014 by an advanced persistent threat group known as Sandworm to target government organizations and infrastructure providers in Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Also, users are urged to activate or enable Microsoft Office's Protected View.

Always beware of phishing emails, spams, and clicking the malicious attachment. Due to the it being a logical bug, it can also navigate around any memory-based mitigations.

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Bulldogs coach Mark Few had no idea from his vantage point on the far end of the court that the jump-ball call was questionable. With North Carolina leading by one with 26 seconds left in the game, Hicks' floater in the paint pushed UNC's lead to 68-65.

Microsoft Office has a feature called "Protected View" that is enabled by default; however, you should double check your settings to make sure that this feature is turned on.

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