| By Chris Mosby |
Even with a barrage of patches coming out from Microsoft this month, computer users are still vulnerable to exploits of PowerPoint.
Microsoft did make an effort to address flaws that are actively being exploited, but left others unpatched that could be exploited later.
PowerPoint still has big, exploitable flaw
I was kind of shocked to find that Microsoft patched a specific flaw in a component to Office that was getting a lot of attention, but then left unpatched another flaw that’s just as severe in that same component. The only difference between them was that one was being exploited, and another wasn’t. Is this a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” kind of thing?
With the release of MS06-048 (922968) on Aug. 8, Microsoft plugged one hole in mso.dll. This is the DLL file that’s exploitable if a user happens to open an infected PowerPoint file. But an equally serious hole in the same DLL remains vulnerable.
This flaw is caused by undisclosed memory-corruption errors when opening, closing, or saving a presentation file under certain conditions. A hacker who gets you to open such a file would be able to run infected code on your system. This is similar to the workings of Trojan.PPDropper.B, a virus described by Symantec.
What to do: Since the details of this flaw haven’t been disclosed, there isn’t any real workaround for this vulnerability until Microsoft produces a patch.