September 22, 2014

Microsoft Says Hackers Could Infiltrate Older Office and Other Software

microsoft office hackers

If you have older editions of Microsoft Office and other software still running on your office computers, beware. Microsoft has issued a warning about the older systems, saying they contain a vulnerability that could be exploited by hackers.

In an official Microsoft Security advisory, the company warns:

“Microsoft is investigating private reports of a vulnerability in the Microsoft Graphics component that affects Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Lync. Microsoft is aware of targeted attacks that attempt to exploit this vulnerability in Microsoft Office products.”

Specifically, those vulnerable include customers using Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, versions of Microsoft Office from 2003 to 2010, and any supported version of Lync.

In a post on the official Microsoft Security Response Center, Dustin C. Childs, group manager with Microsoft communications, said the attacks the company was aware of were confined primarily to markets outside the U.S.

Those attacks occurred mainly in the Middle East and South Asia, he said.

Newer versions of Microsoft Windows and Office are not affected.

While the company is working on a security update, Childs suggested customers take some other more immediate actions if concerned about future attacks.

First, users can consult the Microsoft Security Advisory in the “suggested actions” section for information on a workaround to the problem. Childs also suggested deploying the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit to help prevent exploitation of the system by hackers.

Hacker Photo via Shutterstock

8 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

8 Reactions

  1. That’s sad because I know some people who just cannot get over the old versions. And I am not talking about people who are far from me. My mom and my dad are like that. They just don’t understand the newer office versions. This can surely kill their files which is one thing that they are most afraid of.

  2. Unfortunately, this always happen when it comes to software. That’s why software update – automatic or manual – is a must-do, IMO.

  3. This isn’t good. Hope Microsoft completes the security update pretty soonish.

    I wonder how many people will choose to upgrade to a newer version of Windows/Office because of the reported vulnerability?

  4. I hope its not a ploy to get people to buy the new versions. Why is it only Microsoft aware of that vulnerability? It was going to be convincing if users do complain about such vulnerability or antivirus companies.

    • Oscar, that crossed my mind, that it might be a scaremongering tactic to get some people to upgrade to a newer version. I’d like to think Microsoft is beyond that, but…well.

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