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
 
74,953 News Articles

Critical Excel fix coming next week

Microsoft to release 8 updates on Patch Tuesday

Microsoft plans to release eight updates next week, including a likely fix for an Excel bug that has been used by cybercriminals.

Five of the fixes are for Windows, with a single update each for Internet Explorer, Excel and Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) server.

The Excel update is noteworthy because Microsoft's spreadsheet software has recently been used in a small number of targeted attacks. By tricking users into opening a specially crafted Excel file, criminals can install their malicious software on a victim's machine, Microsoft said. The software vendor has not said for certain whether it will patch this particular Excel flaw next week, but it seems likely.

Microsoft has also warned of a similar flaw in its PowerPoint software, which is also being used in attacks, but no PowerPoint updates are currently scheduled.

"We were hoping to see an update to handle the PowerPoint .pps exploit seeing as this is the hottest Office issue running wild, but from what we can tell at this point, the issue won't be addressed this month," security vendor Lumension said.

Microsoft rates the IE and Excel fixes as critical, along with three of the Windows updates, meaning a hacker could take advantage of the flaws they patch to run unauthorised software on a PC. The ISA patch is rated important; an attacker could use this bug to crash a system. And the other two Windows flaws could be used to elevate privileges to gain access to unauthorised resources on the PC, Microsoft said.

Microsoft released some details of next week's patches on its website on Thursday.


IDG UK Sites

Netflix to introduce price increase: New subcribers to start with

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's new OS X Beta Seed Program: Run pre-release versions of OS X on your Mac

IDG UK Sites

Why our gadgets will kill us all: bleating notifications, too many chargers and the proliferation...

IDG UK Sites

See Moo Studios' new animated advert for Blue Moon beer