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  1. #1
    KHarding
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    Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    Does anyone have any info on the following: Word 2000 has the facility to store with every copy of any document previous versions or deletions & amendments to that document which any recipient can readily recover. Accordingly an unsrupulous opponent or counterpart may be able to recover & read material that was deleted from a document before it was finalised & sent out.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    You should find some info (and links to more) in this thread <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/showflat.pl?Cat=&Board=wrd&Number=28943&page=&view =&sb=&vc=1>here</A>.

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    It's called MetaData. It is a particularly big problem for people who use quick saves and versions in Word. If you do an Internet search on MetaData, you'll find a bunch of articles on the subject. Payne Consulting has a <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.payneconsulting.com/public/products/ProductDetail.asp?nProductID=7> MetaData Assistant </A> that can clean out most MetaData in a document.

  4. #4
    BAM
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    Hi KHarding,

    As others have mentioned what you are referring to is metadata. Metadata can be categorized in two basic groups, information the user can control and information that is automatically stored.

    It is the information that the user controls that can lead to the recovery information still stored in the document but are unable to immediately see it on-screen.

    For the most part those are:
    - "Fast Saves" turned on in Tools/Options/Save. A fast save simply appends revisions to the document rather then completely rewriting the file.
    - A document protected for Tracked Changes. You will see "TRK" in bold in the status bar if this is the case. If in doubt, go to Tools/Track Changes/Accept or Reject to see if changes exist.
    - Document Versions, these are found under File/Versions
    - Hidden text
    - Comments
    - Metadata in embedded objects

    The metadata that is automatically stored with the file is the type of information people wish to remove to maintain anonymity (or by those that steal documents so it appears as though they have created them <g>)

    That is information such as:
    - Your name
    - Company name
    - Previous authors
    - Previous file locations
    - Previous file names (Yes you should always be careful of what you use for file names! <g>)
    - File properties
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers!

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://morons.org/articles/1/188>Scary Example</A>

  6. #6
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    Do not send out Word documents, unless absolutely necessary.
    Buy Adobe Acrobat and distribute PDF.

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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    The "scary example" could have been avoided by the author having accepted revisions before saving the document. The author was obviously aware that the revisions were being marked (doing so is a user setting). Not a secret Word phenomenon, not even a covert action, just a combination of a not-so-careful author and a reader with revision marks displayed. It happens.

    And this behavior is not specific to Word 2000. I believe that this could have happened as far back as Word 2.0 (the beginning of my Word experience).
    The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of WCNOC.

  8. #8
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    One of the problems that we've found with Track Changes is that it is possible to Track Changes without displaying the changes on the screen. Unwary or uneducated users can be caught in the trap of using Track Changes without knowing it. Or they may think, as some of our users have thought, that going to Tools/Track Changes and setting it not to show on the screen will solve the problem. (Amazing, but true.) I think the best solution we've found is the Payne Metadata Assistant, which will prompt you to let it analyze and clean the document when you send it in e-mail. It's a nice program. It also cleans out the built in document properties from the documents.

  9. #9
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    That's precisely the problem. The vast majority of Word users will probably not think to see if Track changes is on if they don't see them on the screen. That's what happened in the case of the Scary Example (originally distributed by WOW).

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    Re: Word 2000 Security Loop Hole

    Precisely why I, for some time, employed an AutoOpen macro which turned off Mark Revisions every time I opened a document. I got surprised too many times. I figured, if I ever feel the need to mark revisions, I can turn Mark Revisions on manually.
    The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the position or opinion of WCNOC.

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