Patch coming to plug PowerPoint security hole

Microsoft plans to roll out only one "critical" patch on Tuesday, May 12, that affects PowerPoint, for its May security update.

This update will be like a slide show that information technology pros have seen before. It comes a month after a zero-day PowerPoint remote code execution vulnerability came to light, for which the company issued a security advisory.

In that security advisory in April, Microsoft indicated that it was only "aware of limited and targeted attacks that attempt to use this vulnerability." Also, the advisory applied only to older Microsoft Office versions up through Office 2003.

With the patch release for May, the company apparently isn't taking any chances. This fix will apply to Microsoft Office 2000 and Office 2003, as well as Office XP and 2007 Microsoft Office systems.

At a more granular level, the patch touches on PowerPoint Viewer 2003 Service Pack 3, PowerPoint Viewer 2007 SP1 and SP2, and all versions of Microsoft Office Compatibility Packs for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 file formats.

The new PowerPoint security flaw has been described as "extremely critical" by independent software security vendors, such as Denmark-based Secunia, which provides an alert here.

Also, Microsoft says the patch "may" require a restart.

As usual, Microsoft refers those interested in nonsecurity updates delivered through Windows Update, Microsoft Update and Windows Server Updates to this Knowledgebase link.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is a journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

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