We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

MS Word has macro hole

Microsoft warns of software security flaw

Microsoft has warned users of its Word software of a security hole that could allow viruses to get past standard checks. The bug appears to be limited to a small number of files.

The flaw only affects Word 97 and higher, and then only RTF files linked to a template. Standard Word files and unlinked RTF files are unaffected. Microsoft has issued a patch to fix the bug.

Macros have long been the province of annoying but usually not terribly destructive viruses.

The security bulletin and patches can be found at Microsoft's site.

The flaw concerns macros - small scripts that can be used in Word to automate or speed up a number of operations. Normally, when documents are opened, Word checks for macros and warns the user if any are present.

In the unlikely instance that a user opens an RTF (rich text format) file that references a template with a macro embedded in it, a macro can be run without warning the user. Such a macro could make some changes to Word, including enabling macros, even if the user had previously turned them off, according to Microsoft.


IDG UK Sites

5 reasons not to wait for the Apple Watch: Why you shouldn't buy the iWatch

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How Emotional Debt is damaging digital design

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room