Microsoft warns of attacks leveraging Word zero-day, releases temporary fix

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The zero-day vulnerability is a remote code execution flaw in Word 2010.
The zero-day vulnerability is a remote code execution flaw in Word 2010.

Microsoft is alerting users that a remote code execution (RCE) flaw in Word 2010 has been exploited in “limited, targeted attacks.”

According to a Monday advisory from Microsoft, the zero-day bug can be exploited when a user opens a malicious rich text format (RTF) file, or previews or opens a malicious RTF email message in Outlook while using Word as the email viewer.

The company also released a temporary patch, or “Fix it” solution, for the issue.

Microsoft added that an attacker who successfully exploits the zero-day flaw (CVE-2014-1761) could gain the same user rights as the targeted user.

“Customers whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than those who operate with administrative user rights,” the advisory said.

While a temporary fix is available for the bug, the tech giant further cautioned users that its popular word processor, by default, is the email reader in Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Microsoft also advised users to read emails in plain text to avoid the exploitation.

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