A new security flaw in Microsoft Windows could cause you to lose complete control of your computer just by clicking on a PowerPoint presentation. Here’s how to protect yourself.
Front page news:
This is another d’oh moment from Microsoft that you don’t want to be on wrong side of. The company warns of a flaw in Windows that allows a hacker to come in and take COMPLETE CONTROL OF YOUR COMPUTER, simply by opening a corrupted PowerPoint file! The issue affects virtually every version of Windows except Windows Server 2003. Why aren’t more people talking about this?!
Reading between the headlines:
Currently, Microsoft says there are few attacks underway exploiting the vulnerability but that number can only rise. Basically what could happen is this: if you open a corrupted document, a cyberattacker could take control of your computer remotely and then wreak havoc by installing programs on your computer, viewing your data or creating a new account to get access to your computer.
According to Microsoft exec, Tracey Pretorius, the weakness is tied to a
“maliciously-crafted PowerPoint document that contains an infected Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) file”
Microsoft is working on a solution, saying it may include a security update through its monthly release process, but think of the damage that could ensue before then?!
As Microsoft works on a permanent fix, it has patched it with a fix which you can download here. You can also do the following to safeguard yourself including:
- avoiding clicking links from unknown parties
- enabling a firewall
- applying all software updates that come through from Microsoft