Microsoft strikes (out) again
Microsoft today is issuing its usual dozen security fixes, mainly for its Windows platform. The 12 fixes address at least 20 security vulnerabilities, including 11 that Microsoft has labeled as critical (“a vulnerability whose exploitation could allow the propagation of an Internet worm without user action”). There’s a good Washington Post article on the whole thing.
This time, however, at least one of the critical fixes also applies to the Mac. Yup, Microsoft can screw up your Mac too, even if you don’t install Boot Camp. To be honest, Microsoft is actually one of the biggest and best Macintosh developers around, and their Office suite in particular is a big help to Mac users, both standalone and those who have to interact with Windows users. In this case, it’s the PowerPoint product within Microsoft’s Office suite that includes the critical vulnerability that needs fixing.
As is often the case on the Mac, even if you don’t fix the vulnerability, there’s little risk to you as a Mac user, since most hackers will assume the underlying operating system is Windows when they actually try to exploit the vulnerability (in this case by creating a specially crafted PowerPoint presentation and trying to get you to open it). Worst case, they’d probably end up crashing your version of PowerPoint. But, as usual, better safe then sorry, so, if you use PowerPoint, you should install the fix.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006