There seems to be a austere aegis blemish in Microsoft Word that Microsoft doesn’t appetite to fix.
In a blog column bygone (Oct. 25), Israeli aegis close Cymulate shows how you can adapt the cipher of a video anchored in a Word certificate to amount malware instead of the video.
In added words, phishers and scammers could corruption this blemish to attach booby-trapped Word documents, bearded as invoices or resumes, to hapless email recipients.
We accomplished out to Microsoft for animadversion and accustomed this account attributed to Jeff Jones, a chief administrator at Microsoft: “The artefact is appropriately interpreting html as advised — alive in the aforementioned abode as agnate products.”
That may be accurate, but we’re not abiding if it helps. In the meantime, you can assure yourself by not beat on any video book anchored in a Word certificate you didn’t apprehend to receive. A acceptable antivirus affairs ability additionally be able to ascertain and stop the malware if you do end up beat the video link.
MORE: Best Antivirus Software and Apps
The affair partly exists because avant-garde Word documents, or “.docx” files, are accounting in XML, a text-markup accent agnate to the HTML markup accent acclimated to actualize web pages.
Like web pages, Word abstracts can accept acknowledging files that abundance the abstracts bare to present the accomplished certificate — and a .docx book is a absolutely aloof a aeroemism array of all those files.
Here’s a fun affair to do. Find a .docx book on your apparatus you don’t absolutely charge anymore. Right-click its name and change the addendum from “.docx” to “.zip”. Hit Enter to save the change, afresh right-click the book afresh and baddest “Extract All”.
Windows will abstract all the files in the Word certificate to a new folder, which will accommodate added folders with name such as “_rels”, “word” and “theme” as able-bodied as files called “document.xml”, “fontTable.xml”, “settings.xml” and so on. (Some of these files may be in the “word” folder.)
The “document.xml” book is the one that matters. Open that in a argument editor such as Notepad and you’ll see a accomplished lot of gibberish, with the absolute argument of the Word certificate almost discernible. But that gibberish is XML markup language, which determines how the argument is presented.
If you accept a web-based video, such as one from YouTube, anchored in the Word document, the URL, or web address, of the video will arise in the document.xml file.
The affair is, Word abstracts aren’t bound in general. After all, it’s your file. So, Cymulate says, you can go into the document.xml file, change the cipher apropos to the anchored video to point to article malicious, such as an online malware athenaeum that will download awful being to a computer. Afresh save the document.xml file, rebundle all the files into a .docx book and accelerate it on its way.
This action didn’t absolutely assignment for us back we approved to alter an banal YouTube video in our own Word file, so we’ll aloof accept to assurance Cymulate about this part.
And because Microsoft doesn’t assume to accept a band-aid in mind, we’ll accept to go with the admonition the company’s agent gave us: “We animate barter to convenance acceptable accretion habits online, including appliance attention back beat on links or aperture alien files.”
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