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No Fix for Word Next 'Patch Tuesday' 80

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-cool-nobody-uses-word-anyway dept.
Sktea writes "A spokesman for Microsoft has said that they will issue no patches on the next 'Patch Tuesday' for versions of Word vulnerable to the recent zero-day threat. There is no mention whatsoever of the omission in the latest advance notification at the company's security site." From the article: "The software maker is working on a security update, but apparently needs more time. The company did not specify how many flaws Tuesday's updates will address or in which components of Windows the holes lie. The Visual Studio update could offer a patch for a zero-day vulnerability in the developer tools that was made public last month. "
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No Fix for Word Next 'Patch Tuesday'

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  • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday December 08, 2006 @10:34AM (#17162548) Journal
    Are we going to start calling them zero-week or zero-month vulnerabilities?
    • by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:26AM (#17163176)
      If this was a WMA DRM crack, we'd see a patch within three days. Don't you just love Microsoft?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Oddscurity (1035974) *
        That's probably because of license agreements made with the corporate consumers of said DRM, allowing them to sue (or jane, or ...) Microsoft's pants off when the product 'protecting' their music/video fails. This in stark contrast to the EULA which disclaims any warranties and then some.
        • by GNious (953874)
          Hint: Go live in a country where the EULA doesn't mean shite.

          You paid for the thing, transaction is done. If the product is faulty under warranty (2 years where I live), demand a refund or accept to use a broken piece of something. If hit unknowingly, sue for damages.

          /G
    • by meclamar (668862) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:57AM (#17163636)
      How about zero-fix vulnerabilities?
  • by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Friday December 08, 2006 @10:35AM (#17162550)
    This isn't anything critical like fixing a problem with their DRM. This only hurts the end users, not anybody they are beholden to RIGHT NOW in order to attempt to become the supreme overlords of the livingroom, like they so desperately want to be.
    • They are to busy copying google books and the apple look and feel to actually write secure code. /me wants to set fire to Redmond...

      Tom
      • Don't set fire to Redmond. Nintendo's in Redmond. If you burn their HQ down, we'll never get more Wiis.
        • Good point. I actually wanna get a Wii next year (prolly in the Summer).

          Let's narrow the fire bombing down a bit. What's the zipcode of 1 Microsoft Way?

          Tom
          • by jZnat (793348) *
            Nintendo Power said their campus is within spitting distance of Microsoft, so I'd be careful...
            • by ATMD (986401)
              Nintendo Power said their campus is within spitting distance of Microsoft

              How handy!
            • by Firehed (942385)
              What about peeing distance? Would Nintendo be so kind as to piss all over Microsoft to put out the fire?

              I'm inclined to think they would, considering how much faster the Wii is selling than the Xbox 360.
    • yeah, someone needs to pull a class action suit against MS for this... They have shown they can pull patches out of their asses real quick for stuff that doesn't actually threaten the users, why not for harmful things?
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday December 08, 2006 @12:25PM (#17163996) Homepage Journal
      This isn't anything critical like fixing a problem with their DRM. This only hurts the end users, not anybody they are beholden to RIGHT NOW in order to attempt to become the supreme overlords of the livingroom, like they so desperately want to be.

      Exactly. Who cares about existing users in markets they already control, who are addicted to you and will stay with you forever? After all, when you have to spend all of this time throwing chairs about, f**king killing Google, figuring out ways to steal Apple's successful online music business out from under them, and scheming to keep those Linux guys from getting anywhere, you can't be focused on such silly things as customer support. No siree! Win, win, win! That's what I always say!
  • But... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by feld (980784)
    Their solution certainly said that we aren't to open any MS Word documents. Does this mean Microsoft will pay unemployment to the people that deal with Word documents all day, but can't open them due to security issues?
    • by NineNine (235196)
      Their solution certainly said that we aren't to open any MS Word documents.

      No it doesn't. Here's the text. Read it carefully. It's very complicated:

      Do not open or save Word files [the part you conveniently left out]that you receive from un-trusted or that are received unexpected from trusted sources.

      Got it? I hope so. This suggestion is ALWAYS true, regardless of whatever known bugs there may be in existence at the time.
      • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wytcld (179112) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:11AM (#17162992) Homepage
        "received unexpected from trusted sources"

        "Expected" is the tricky word there. Most people who receive Word docs in the course of work expect their normal, trusted sources to send them documents that are themselves somewhat new, newsworthy, you know, containing information that's worth sending. A doc that's totally expected probably didn't need to be sent.

        Let's say you're the editor of a newsletter or magazine. You expect docs from a few score people who occassionally submit stuff. You expect them to show up with e-mails that say, "Hi George, Here it is!" The bad guys can easily fake that stuff - and often do - but you're a normal editor, not a security expert, so you give the normal English reading to "receive unexpected," and this stuff all looks like stuff you expected, so you open it....

        What Microsoft should say is, "Don't open any attached docs without phoning the source first and specifically confirming the file." As it is, they're saying just enough to cover their ass ("We warned you!"), without saying enough to enable the typical user to really practice safe Word use.
        • really practice safe Word use

          Sir, I commend your use of capitalization here. However, with Google's default case insensitivity, I bet your message ends up as a result of some pretty interesting searches.

    • Their solution certainly said that we aren't to open any MS Word documents.

      Before talking about the solution, why not go read the advisory [microsoft.com] first?

      From TFAdvistory:

      Do not open or save Word files that you receive from un-trusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources.

      Let me translate for you: Do not open random word documents downloaded from unknown sources because they could be infected. If somebody sends you an email with a document you weren't expecting or without any context (ie su

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by feld (980784)
        Yeah, ok. Like it's that easy. Tell that to the Human Resources lady who has to open up Word documents containing resumes/cover letters from random people. Get my drift? Why do you all have to be pricks without thinking first?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, ok. Like it's that easy. Tell that to the Human Resources lady who has to open up Word documents containing resumes/cover letters from random people.
          This is exactly what part of my job is. I handle the resumes we get from candidates and input them into our database. What do I tell my boss? Sorry, can't get any new hires because if I open a resume my computer will explode? That won't fly.
          • by pe1chl (90186)
            Resumes in Word are fun! Especially there are often multiple revisions and deleted textblocks in the file.

            A wise man sends his resumes and letters as .pdf or plain text.
        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          That depends on the job. If it's a job for a technical position, ask the applicant to send you their resume as a PDF instead.

          If the originator has a virus that sends out infected docs, they'll get your request and say, "huh?". If the originator did send the resume, but it's infected, the PDF won't be (or at least your PDF reader probably won't have the vulnerability). If the originator can't figure out how to do create a PDF, you probably don't want to hire them into a technical position ;-) If it's a

        • Allow me to re-block quote what I was replying to:

          Their solution certainly said that we aren't to open any MS Word documents.

          The response was to indicate that Microsoft did not in fact say "do not open any MS word document". I'm not saying the bug is not bad/annoying/reason to switch to Linux, but saying that the grandparent didn't read the advisory and was spreading the usual misinformation that just happens to sound good to most people here.

          Why do you all have to be pricks without thinking first

      • by wordsnyc (956034)
        If somebody sends you an email with a document you weren't expecting or without any context (ie subject: You should really read this!)

        I've always found that "Mentions you!" does the trick.

      • by dwater (72834)
        Well, I'm not sure how the 'exploit' knows which sources are trusted and/or if the reciept of any document is expected. If it does know, then does it somehow say, "Oh, I am *expected*. Oooh, then I'll not do anything bad.", or, "Oh, the user is about to send that document, so I'll not infect that file.".

        Right. If I wanted to take advantage of an exploit, I'd make sure I infected files that were about to sent and were to expected. Not sure how I would be able to tell those files, but still - perhaps prefer n
  • Popeye (Score:3, Funny)

    by spidkit (992102) on Friday December 08, 2006 @10:42AM (#17162622)
    Wimpey: "I will gladly fix it on Tuesday."
    • by operagost (62405)
      Steve Ballmer looks like he could eat a lot of HAMMMMburgers.
      • by triso (67491)

        Steve Ballmer looks like he could eat a lot of HAMMMMburgers.
        He also looks like he has eaten a lot of HAMMMMburgers.

  • by The_REAL_DZA (731082) on Friday December 08, 2006 @10:43AM (#17162630)
    "The software maker is working on a security update, but apparently needs more time..."

     
    So be nice and give 'em a few extra days to come up with some patches (it's the sporting thing to do!!) After all, all that innovation makes it tough to respond quickly to threats to their legacy apps!!
    • So be nice and give 'em a few extra days to come up with some patches (it's the sporting thing to do!!) After all, all that innovation makes it tough to respond quickly to threats to their legacy apps!!

      I understand the irony of your comment, but it is true. While the OpenOffice.org team might be able to come up with a patch to their word processor in a day (even in spite the amazing amount of innovation they do to make sure their office suite of applications looks and functions nothing like the competition) they don't have to worry much about things like backwards compatibility. So what if some small part of OOo breaks? I doubt they have thousands of test cases to run to ensure that it remains compati

      • Yeah, right...backwards compatibility. Ever tried opening a Word 2003 doc with Word 2000???
        • by Koriani (869587)
          Umm....backwards compatibility is supposed to go the other way....

          word 2000 documents open fine in word 2003. If word 2003 docs opened perfectly in word 2000, how would microsoft ever get you to upgrade?

          • If word 2003 docs opened perfectly in word 2000, how would microsoft ever get you to upgrade?

            Actually, I started to craft a clever but sarcastic response to this statement (in keeping with my clever but sarcastic personality) and I realized there's really quite a bit of difference between the two versions of Word (not actually being a Word user myself -- I just don't have much use for a word processor most of the time -- I consider Excel to be the single most powerful application Microsoft sells; I

  • I wonder what the vulnerability situation would be like if Open Office...Star Office were more common.
    I personally am glad that I don't use Microsoft for my Office needs.
  • That I could tell, nobody answered my question the last time this issue was reported on slashdot- is Word 2007 immune to this issue?

    Heh heh heh. Did I just imply a conspiracy? No really. That would be totally stupid, unethical, immoral...
    • by eklitzke (873155)
      I would frankly be pretty surprise if the parsing code (and if this is a buffer overflow, I'm sure it's a flaw in the parser) is significantly different in Word 2007. If I was a betting man I'd wager that Word 2007 is vulnerable as well.
    • by lostboy2 (194153)
      From the MS Security Advisory [microsoft.com]:

      What versions of Microsoft Office Word are associated with this advisory?
      This advisory addresses Word 2000, Word 2002, Word 2003, Microsoft Word Viewer 2003, Word 2004 for Mac, Word 2004 v. X for Mac, and Works 2004, 2005, and 2006.


    • Re:Word 2007 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nasarius (593729) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:45AM (#17163436)
      Conspiracy? Nah. For once, MS doesn't really need strongarm tactics to sell a product. Office 2007, with the first UI overhaul since the days of Windows 3.1, is genuinely worth the upgrade. And it's not even publicly for sale yet. So while you're free to rightly accuse them of incompetence for failing to patch their older (and current) products in a timely fashion, they're probably not being evil.
      • Actually, I agree. I'm using the RC/Beta whatever they're calling the latest version and it's much, much better than Office XP. Than office 2003, not so much, but still quite a bit.
  • Shucks (Score:3, Funny)

    by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Friday December 08, 2006 @10:53AM (#17162740)
    A spokesman for Microsoft has said that they will issue no patches on the next 'Patch Tuesday' for versions of Word vulnerable to the recent zero-day threat.

    And why should they? The devs are still trying to finish Twilight Princess on the Wii, goshdarnit. Leave them be! The users can last without opening any attachments from anybody for a little while longer, right?
  • I'd rather they take a little more time and "fix" it the first time, rather than having to issue multiple patches to fix it, each one opening up more glaring holes. Of course, I'd prefer it wasn't there to begin with, but hey, the world isn't perfect.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by db32 (862117)
      Typo Notifaction Post

      Typed: ", the world isn't perfect."
      Corrected ", Word isn't perfect."
      • by dubbreak (623656)
        Are you sure that shouldn't have been:

        Spoken as: ", the world isn't perfect."
        Written as: "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all"
      • Typo Notification Post

        Typed: "Typo Notifaction Post"
        Corrected: "Typo Notification Post"

    • by wellingj (1030460)
      I'd prefer it wasn't there to begin with, but hey, the world isn't perfect.

      Dude! You missed the perfect pun! Let me help:
      I'd prefer it wasn't there to begin with, but hey, the word isn't perfect.
  • Why would they? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Osiris Ani (230116) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:20AM (#17163102)
    "There is no mention whatsoever of the omission in the latest advance notification at the company's security site."

    My first thought leads me to ask, why would there be any mention of bug fixes that are not included in a patch cluster's content notification? Why would any company specifically call out features that are not being provided in a particular software distribution, in circumstances other than the discovery of a clear and consistent workaround (aside from the standard "temporarily avoid use of [software x]")?

    The situation of miscellaneous zero-day exploits must be embarrassing enough already; I couldn't imagine them calling even more attention to it. "Hey, guess what we're not fixing next week. Check it out!"

  • by nobodyman (90587) on Friday December 08, 2006 @11:53AM (#17163576) Homepage
    Here's how we get microsoft to act. Let's just tweak the headlines a bit, from:
    New Zero-day Attack Affects Word Users


    To:
    New Zero-day Attack Circumvents Zune DRM


    There, much better. I guarantee Microsoft will release a patch *immediately*.
  • WTF do corporations do when viruses and worms are whizzing past on their internal networks and there's no fix available? Do they blindly continue working with Word?

    I talked to a friend whose corporate computer was infested by spyware that planted porno on his system. He paid the blackmail for the antispyware to remove it. A month later he de-installed the antispyware and guess what - the porno returned.
    • by treeves (963993)
      spyware that planted porno on his system

      ". . .uh, er, . . . it must've been that dang spyware again! I swear!"

    • by WWWWolf (2428)

      WTF do corporations do when viruses and worms are whizzing past on their internal networks and there's no fix available? Do they blindly continue working with Word?

      Good question!

      Just this week Slashdot just reminded me of LibraryThing, so I signed up and turned my bookshelf into a big mess. I found one old (which is to say, early 1990s) book about desktop publishing.

      And what that book has to say about word processing?

      "The editors of your publication can use any word processor they want", it said.

  • Where I work, we use Mailscanner (http://www.mailscanner.info/) to filter our internet-facing email before it hits our MS Exchange server. As of yesterday, we started blocking the .DOC extenstion as well as the Microsoft Office filetype as determined by /bin/filetype. Anyone who gets a blocked attachment has the attachment replaced with a small text file that basically says 'Contact IT for your document'. We, IT, then retrieve the blocked documents on demand, open them in OpenOffice and either save them as
  • History has shown [eweek.com] that the way to get a patch out of Microsoft is to have some third party come out with a patch. Even though it works they will say that the patch is risky (FUD) and the official patch will appear in a few days.
  • by yulek (202118)
    meanwhile the firefox team still hasn't fixed the password manager vulnerability [arstechnica.com]...
    • by yulek (202118)
      heh, of course mod me down (much easier than say, replying non-anonymously); how dare i say anything negative about firefox. but it's never offtopic to bring up microsoft when a firefox vulnerability is discussed, now is it? my point shouldn't have to be made. that vulnerability has not been addressed and it's pretty serious. why isn't it getting any more slashdot visibility? we've heard about this particular windows problem in several stories and lots of comments already.

      (disclaimer: i'm not a windows
  • From the previous article summary:
    "There are no pre-patch workarounds or anti-virus signatures available. Microsoft suggests that users 'not open or save Word files,' even from trusted sources."
    I can't contain language on this one: When the fuck wil MS take their prodcuts off the market and just go away?

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