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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 26, 2006 at 11:08 AM

First Word, now Symantec hit by security flaws

What should you do about the Word and Symantec security flaws announced this week? Shut down your PC and take a nice, long holiday weekend.

If that’s not an option, here’s more info.

Researchers at eEye Digital Security found the flaw in Symantec’s antivirus products and said it’s “high severity.” But Symantec said it doesn’t affect consumers using its Norton-brand antivirus products. The flaw affects Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 10.x. More details are listed here.

Earlier this week, Microsoft advised customers to run Word in Safe Mode until it fixes a vulnerability in Office XP and Office 2003. It says the patch will be ready by June 13, but in the meantime here are the precautions listed in its advisory posting:

— Do not open Word files that are embedded in other applications, such as Excel, PowerPoint and others.

— Home users: Even after applying the workarounds do not open Word files directly from ANY mail clients for example, Outlook or Hotmail by double-clicking them. Save your word document to a disk or onto your desktop and use the “Word Safe Mode” Shortcut.

— Enterprise users: Even after applying the workarounds do not open Word files directly from mail clients other than Outlook, for example, Hotmail by double-clicking them.

— Do not open .doc from a Web site via Internet Explorer or any other browser.

— If you do not see “Safe Mode” in Word title bar you are not running Word in Safe Mode. Do not attempt to open any Word files as you may be vulnerable to the malicious .doc files.

— You can use Word Viewer 2003 to open any files without being affected by this vulnerability.

Comments | More in | Topics: Security & privacy

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