Keep Safe from MS Powerpoint Vulnerability

by on April 19th, 2009

If you have been using Microsoft Powerpoint software to view tutorials, slide shows, presentations and more then it is time to watch out. Because some PC threats and infections are causing virus to spread via MS powerpoint. Attackers are using rigged PowerPoint files to exploit an unpatched vulnerability in Microsoft’s presentation software. According to Microsoft the attacks are limited and targeted. The malware associated with the attack is a Trojan dropper embedded within an exploit in .ppt or .pps data files.

The vulnerability allows remote code execution if a user opens an infected PowerPoint file. The newest Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 and Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 are not affected.

Reported affected softwares

– Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2000/2002/2003 Service Pack 3
– Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac

How to Be Safe

It is recommended that Office users avoid opening or saving ppt or pps files, because those could be spoofed. To help protect your computer from risk, generally do not open files that you receive as attachments to e-mail messages if the messages arrive unexpectedly. Also, do not open files that you receive as attachments if the files are from a person whom you do not know. If you must open attachments, use MOICE (The Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment) to help reduce the security risk. MOICE can help reduce the effect of attacks that come through Word, Excel, or PowerPoint binary format files. Use MOICE when you suspect that you are under direct attack and you do not have a software update that can be used to resolve the vulnerability. MOICE uses the 2007 Microsoft Office system converters to convert the Office binary format files into the Office Open XML format. This process helps remove the potential threat that may exist if the document is opened in the binary format. Additionally, MOICE converts incoming files in an isolated environment. This helps protect the computer from a potential threat.