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Patch Office X for Network Vulnerability


Microsoft has released a Network Security Updater for Microsoft Office X that eliminates a network vulnerability made possible by the a flaw in the application suite’s network-aware anti-piracy mechanism. Office X checks to make sure that every copy running on the network is using a unique product identifier (PIDs); if an Office application detects a duplicate, it shuts down. As discovered by Marty Schoch, the problem is that the checking code doesn’t correctly handle a malformed PID announcement, causing the first Office application launched to crash, with the possible loss of data. There is no possibility that data could be created, deleted, or modified, though. Even without the patch, a firewall can block the offending packets coming in from the Internet. For full details, see Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-002.

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