Security Hole in Microsoft Excel

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We’re used to security holes in our browsers, our instant messenger programs, and even,sometimes, Word. But in our spreadsheet program? In Excel??

Yep, that’s right. There is currently a known security hole in Microsoft Excel. It does require user action (that’s you), but it’s real.

And it affects many versions of both Windows and Mac Excel, including Microsoft Excel 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, Excel 2002, Excel 2000, Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac, and Microsoft Excel v. X for Mac.

According to Microsoft, “In order for this attack to be carried out, a user must first open a malicious Excel file attached to an e-mail or otherwise provided to them by an attacker.”

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No word, however, on what that file may look like. So of course the best way to avoid this security pinch is to not open any files coming in from any unknown sources, or even any files coming from known sources, but which are unexpected or which you haven’t first confirmed.

Or, as Microsoft puts it, “As a best practice, users should always exercise extreme caution when opening unsolicited attachments from both known and unknown sources.”

Microsoft has added a Windows Update to adderess this security hole, which you can get here.

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One thought on “Security Hole in Microsoft Excel

  1. I clicked on the link you supplied, but there appears to be nothing regarding the Excel update. If you click on downloads, then click on Security updates summary for June 2006, you will find MS06-027, an update for Word.

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