The active exploitation of a zero-day vulnerability affecting Microsoft Word has been confirmed by Symantec, The zero-day threat is reported to be an attack at select targets and is not deemed a widespread threat.
Alan Bentley, MD of patch management expert PatchLink EMEA said:
“Given the ubiquity of Microsoft Office software and the fact that code has been exploited, there is definitely cause for concern for all users despite the targeted attack. It is not uncommon for the same vulnerability to be exploited by a number of virus writers wishing to spread the vulnerability further afield than the original exploit. With this in mind, smaller organisations should not rest on their laurels and must ensure that they take adequate precautions now.”
“Educating users to be cautious of word files and blocking attachments at the network perimeter is an interim measure for computer users. It is important that businesses prepare for a quick turnaround once the official Microsoft patch or a reputable third party patch becomes available.
“Zero-day threats are becoming a much more frequent problem in 2006. As the third major zero-day threat already this year, the Microsoft Word exploit underscores this trend and raises questions about how organisations can best work around and prepare for vulnerabilities as software vendors continue to take 30 to 120 days to develop and fully test their security patches.”