27 October 2014

Microsoft has issued a security advisory, warning of a critical zero-day vulnerability (a previously unknown bug for which there is currently no fix available) affecting all versions of Windows, except Server 2003.

Microsoft's warning states the vulnerability is currently being targeted in a limited number of attacks via Microsoft PowerPoint files. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to obtain remote control of your computer.

Microsoft does not yet have a software update available to address this issue.

You should be cautious about opening files from untrustworthy sources, particularly PowerPoint files (.PPT, PPTX) until an update is released.

There are a number of other mitigating conditions outlined by Microsoft in the advisory. As a temporary solution, until a security update becomes available, Microsoft suggests a Fix it workaround which blocks the known attacks targeting this vulnerability. Microsoft is also preparing a security update to permanently address the issue.

System administrators should evaluate implementing this Fix it for users.

More information

Microsoft’s full security advisory.

Stay Smart Online’s advice about keeping your software up to date.

The information provided here is of a general nature. Everyone's circumstances are different. If you require specific advice you should contact your local technical support provider.

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Disclaimer

This information has been prepared by Enex TestLab for the Department of Communications ('the Department'). It was accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.

This information is general information only and is intended for use by private individuals and small to medium sized businesses. If you are concerned about a specific cyber security issue you should seek professional advice.

The Commonwealth, Enex TestLab, and all other persons associated with this advisory accept no liability for any damage, loss or expense incurred as a result of the provision of this information, whether by way of negligence or otherwise.

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Please note that third party views or recommendations included in this information do not reflect the views of the Commonwealth, or indicate its commitment to a particular course of action. The Commonwealth also cannot verify the accuracy of any third party material included in this information.

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