Office Mac users at risk

PC security experts have criticized Microsoft this week for releasing security patches attempting to fix vulnerabilities in Windows versions of their presentation program Powerpoint, whilst announcing Mac users of Office Mac could remain at risk, until patches for OS X are completed in June.

Swa Frantzen, a security analyst, claims that Microsoft have ignored its practices for responsible disclosure, by revealing that Office Mac 2004 and 2008 contain three unpatched vulnerabilities. These, he said, could lead to a possibility of hackers exploiting this Mac weakness.

Following complaints by security analysts, Microsoft is said to have had no further comment than that released in the statement, along with the patch for Windows.

Source: cultofmac.com

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17 Comments

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Apple: Dooooood! Why'd ya tell them that problems exist?!! You're supposed to pretend nothings wrong and ban the nonbelievers!

Seriously, jokes aside, you guys are missing the point entirely. Read the following:

First, the security update for the Windows versions of Office was ready ahead of our planned release schedule. The Mac version of Office is affected but the packages are still in testing so we are "going live" today with Windows packages only. We normally do not update one supported platform before another but given this situation of a package available for an entire product line that protects the vast majority of customers at risk within the predictable release cycle, we made a decision to go early with the Windows packages. We will revise the security bulletin when the Mac packages are available. None of the PPT exploit samples we have analyzed will reliably exploit the Mac version so we didn't want to hold the Windows security update while we wait for Mac packages. We are still hard at work on the Mac package testing.

All they've done, is release an update sooner than originally planned simply because of the threat level for Windows is more critical than that of OS X. It doesn't mean that they aren't at work attempting to get fixes out, or are attempting anything malicious by announcing that there are problems with their software. If Microsoft really felt it was a threat, they'd probably approach it differently.

whats the big deal, the magical mac fairies that live inside every mac will fix anything that goes wrong and then shoot gumdrops and lollipops out of the cd drive.

Microsoft already commented on this. They said, it is not possible at the moment to reverse engineer the whole thing and place an attack on OSX. That's the reason why they released the Windows patch as soon as possible and they are on track with releasing OSX patch in June.

It is a big deal. Microsoft acknowledge that a problem exists, but they think that it won't be exploited because it isn't possible.

Yeah... I wonder how many other vulnerabilities were mercilessly exploited while a company figured that it was safe to leave something unpatched and/or take their time about it. 99% secure is 100% insecure, as the saying goes.

Whether you use Mac OS X or Windows, if you've purchased Microsoft Office then you are Microsoft's customer. This is irresponsible to their customers and people should be upset at Microsoft for being so relaxed about security on the OS X platform in this case.

Ledgem said,
It is a big deal. Microsoft acknowledge that a problem exists, but they think that it won't be exploited because it isn't possible.

Yeah... I wonder how many other vulnerabilities were mercilessly exploited while a company figured that it was safe to leave something unpatched and/or take their time about it. 99% secure is 100% insecure, as the saying goes.

Whether you use Mac OS X or Windows, if you've purchased Microsoft Office then you are Microsoft's customer. This is irresponsible to their customers and people should be upset at Microsoft for being so relaxed about security on the OS X platform in this case.


I love how you shiny little OS X owners are suddenly crying like babies because you've finally realized that Macs do get viruses/attacked/exploited.

If Microsoft themselves, who, I might add, most likley have a team of security consultants (read: paid hackers) testing this stuff, and they say the exploit is not possible, then there is nothing to worry about.

Stop whining, be happy the Microsoft even wants to give OS X users an Office suite.

Sheesh.

It really isn't a big deal. It's just people like you who seem to think that Microsoft is out to get you. Well, knock knock, they aren't.

I think it's ok for Microsoft to be a bit lax when A) They've already stated it can't be done and B) Macs don't get viruses?

You can just see the next Laptop Hunter ad now...

"Don't buy a mac, we put left all sorts of security holes in it for hackers to steal your stuff!"

Wondering where the negative comments will come from this time. On the one side, it's a Mac vulnerability, but on the other hand it comes from Microsoft. What a predicament!

Sam Symons said,
Wondering where the negative comments will come from this time. On the one side, it's a Mac vulnerability, but on the other hand it comes from Microsoft. What a predicament!

The article would lead you to believe that it is a Mac vulnerability, but it's the Microsoft Office Team who's working to fix their problem.

Raikou Tch said,
On the other hand, it would seem irresponsible to not let people know they could be at risk. Now Apple can release a patch.

Apple doesn't patch Microsoft problems. The patch is needed in Powerpoint.