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(Krebs On Security)   Microsoft to Word users: you're probably fine as long as you don't open any text files   (krebsonsecurity.com) divider line 44
    More: Fail, documents, Microsoft Word, Captain Obvious, targeted attacks, TEX, file format, operating systems  
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4439 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Mar 2014 at 5:44 PM (43 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-03-25 05:59:42 PM  
Really couldn't be any worse than MS word's old macros system. What compelled MS to release a word processing program that could easily be used to execute crude VB viruses is beyond sanity..
 
2014-03-25 06:01:03 PM  
Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?
 
2014-03-25 06:04:15 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


I use Open Office, but I always find MS Word so much easier to use. Security wise, hell yeah, I'd stick with Open Office.
 
2014-03-25 06:07:10 PM  
.rtf files, not .txt files... but yeah, MS drops yet another ball. Although, why anyone is opening .rtf files from people they don't know is beyond me (it's called *looking at the headers in your emails*, people, I learned that 20 years ago, you see something in there that doesn't match up right, don't open the email (such as an email from, say,XXX­XX[nospam-﹫-backwards]t­t­a*c­om with a return path of x­xx­xx­[nospam-﹫-backwards]o­oh­ay­*com)).
 
2014-03-25 06:14:10 PM  
Is there somewhere on the menu ribbon we can click to disable that feature?
 
2014-03-25 06:15:36 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


Clunky, slow, and iffy on formats. Gets me going every time.
 
2014-03-25 06:27:16 PM  
Ha! I'm using 2007.
 
2014-03-25 06:29:47 PM  
Security wise, don't open random document files.  Now could Word be better? Yes.  But don't be an idiot.  Do you go around licking handrails at a mall?  Same concept.
 
2014-03-25 06:30:12 PM  

Somaticasual: Really couldn't be any worse than MS word's old macros system. What compelled MS to release a word processing program that could easily be used to execute crude VB viruses is beyond sanity..


Old?  One of the ways you can manipulate a 3par storage SAN is via a farking excel sheet they provide.  I am not kidding, almost lost my keyboard and monitor to the coffee gods when I first opened up the link to 'the excel client' and saw it literally was what it sounded like.
 
2014-03-25 06:39:31 PM  
It's been downhill since Word 6.

Word 6 was awesome.
 
2014-03-25 06:44:57 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


Maybe if the interface didn't look like it hasn't changed in 10 years. It might be stable and secure, but the main point of software is still  actually using it. And Open Office is chore to even look at much less use for anything beyond a 5 paragraph middle school essay.
 
2014-03-25 06:51:04 PM  
I was using Office 97 for years, but had to give it up when Win7 refused to install it. The only good thing about having to buy Office 2010 is that I got to learn all the new changes for the latest version. Otherwise Office 97 was good enough.
 
2014-03-25 06:57:16 PM  

taurusowner: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Maybe if the interface didn't look like it hasn't changed in 10 years. It might be stable and secure, but the main point of software is still  actually using it. And Open Office is chore to even look at much less use for anything beyond a 5 paragraph middle school essay.


An interface I'm familiar with?!? Oh noes!!!

Changing the interface is not a good thing unless usability is much improved. That's not my personal experience of the MS Office ribbon. YMMV.
 
2014-03-25 06:58:33 PM  

gwowen: It's been downhill since Word 6.

Word 6 was awesome.


I liked Ami Pro better.
 
2014-03-25 06:59:49 PM  

Cream of Meat: gwowen: It's been downhill since Word 6.

Word 6 was awesome.

I liked Ami Pro better.


Die, heretic
 
2014-03-25 07:05:11 PM  

gwowen: Cream of Meat: gwowen: It's been downhill since Word 6.

Word 6 was awesome.

I liked Ami Pro better.

Die, heretic


You're outnumbered.
/1-2-3 was better with formulas.
 
2014-03-25 07:10:22 PM  
Emacs and pdfLaTeX for the win!
 
2014-03-25 07:13:07 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


LibreOffice, I guess.  Though I just googled OpenOffice and found that the Apache foundation has taken it on.  Still, LibreOffice is what most Linux distributions seem to be supplying.

/WordStar!
 
2014-03-25 07:13:48 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


Open Office is a dead project at this point (Casualty of Oracle).

https://www.libreoffice.org/

Check it out, it really is much better.

/All the cool kids are doing it
 
2014-03-25 07:14:35 PM  

SansNeural: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

LibreOffice, I guess.  Though I just googled OpenOffice and found that the Apache foundation has taken it on.  Still, LibreOffice is what most Linux distributions seem to be supplying.

/WordStar!


*shakes fist*
 
2014-03-25 07:21:50 PM  
This is of course why I use Electric Pencil in a TRS-80 VM for all my word processing needs.

Somehow I don't see the advantage of using a crappy email client.  I'll take the productivity I get with Office 2013 over any perceived security with other clients because I'm not a farking moron.
 
2014-03-25 07:28:28 PM  

manbart: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Open Office is a dead project at this point (Casualty of Oracle).

https://www.libreoffice.org/

Check it out, it really is much better.

/All the cool kids are doing it


Yep - with LibreOffice, I cut the cord, and quit MS office for good.
One of the better application/software decisions I've made, actually.
 
2014-03-25 07:36:37 PM  

Cream of Meat: gwowen: It's been downhill since Word 6.

Word 6 was awesome.

I liked Ami Pro better.


Speedscript 64/128.

Source code typed line by line.
 
2014-03-25 07:36:38 PM  
Word 2008 on Mac is VASTLY superior to any other form of Word. No fanboy craze here, it's just true. It works simply and well in a way no other iteration of Word has ever managed.
 
2014-03-25 07:59:22 PM  

Somaticasual: Really couldn't be any worse than MS word's old macros system. What compelled MS to release a word processing program that could easily be used to execute crude VB viruses is beyond sanity..


What "compelled" Microsoft?  The people paying them money.

The ability to create and perform macros was a major selling point for word processors; witness this thirty-year-old review of WordStar versus WordPerfect.  Microsoft's large clients wanted flexibility in how their documents were processed, and so the macro capability was built in.  And then those clients wanted macros to be simpler and more standardized across all the software they were buying as a suite, so WordBasic became VBA, which allowed, for example, writing code that bridged Word and Excel and Outlook...

The full implications of that weren't noticed until someone clumsily reworked some VBA sample code into the ILOVEYOU "virus".  But up until then, programmability was high on the list of feature checkmarks organizations used in deciding their software spending.

It took the world a while to move from "a computer on every desktop" to "a computer on every desktop, connected directly to the desktop of every jackass in the world".
 
2014-03-25 08:23:36 PM  

MHudson: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Clunky, slow, and iffy on formats. Gets me going every time.


But enough about MS Word :P

it amazes me sometimes what the open source community can produce with a much smaller number of developers, compared to large retail software with who knows how many developers working on something.

// It's really hard for me to ding OpenOffice for not being able to be 100% compatible with an proprietary file format.

// Likewise, it's hard for me to ding Gimp for not having the same features as photoshop, given that for a large chunk of time, Gimp just had 12 people committing code.
 
2014-03-25 08:27:33 PM  
If you're opening RTFs let alone TXT files from someone you don't know you're not too smart. Not deserving of a zero day exploit kind of dumb though.
 
2014-03-25 09:03:20 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?



LibreOffice shore is pretty too.
 
2014-03-25 09:05:09 PM  
i get nervous every time i open a text file.   i'll click on any email/internet link out there but text files creep me out.


(;
 
2014-03-25 09:07:16 PM  

jso2897: manbart: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Open Office is a dead project at this point (Casualty of Oracle).

https://www.libreoffice.org/

Check it out, it really is much better.

/All the cool kids are doing it

Yep - with LibreOffice, I cut the cord, and quit MS office for good.
One of the better application/software decisions I've made, actually.



damn soshalizist!!
 
2014-03-25 09:07:48 PM  

red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?


No
 
2014-03-25 09:28:22 PM  

ClavellBCMI: .rtf files, not .txt files... but yeah, MS drops yet another ball. Although, why anyone is opening .rtf files from people they don't know is beyond me (it's called *looking at the headers in your emails*, people, I learned that 20 years ago, you see something in there that doesn't match up right, don't open the email (such as an email from, say,XXXXX[[nospam-﹫-backwards] image 7x13]tta[* image 7x13]com with a return path of xxxxx[[nospam-﹫-backwards] image 7x13]oohay[* image 7x13]com)).


This. RTF is not TXT.

/reads email with pine
//ok, not really
///rtf is still not txt
 
2014-03-25 09:34:52 PM  
If they work on a fix for it, it's not much of a fail. All software has vulnerabilities. 

LibreOffice is... meh. I've had it fail on me too many times when I needed it to work right the first time.

/*retainer voice*
//"But but... free... and open schourche..."
 
2014-03-25 10:32:48 PM  

Linux_Yes: jso2897: manbart: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Open Office is a dead project at this point (Casualty of Oracle).

https://www.libreoffice.org/

Check it out, it really is much better.

/All the cool kids are doing it

Yep - with LibreOffice, I cut the cord, and quit MS office for good.
One of the better application/software decisions I've made, actually.


damn soshalizist!!


I'm glad I was free to make the choice. But a lot of people aren't.
I run a small home office. I don't correspond with a lot of other businesses. I am not bound to any old, specialized apps that requires MSOffice filetypes. A whole lot of people  don't have that luxury - or the luxury of time and effort to devote to a learning curve. Libreoffice really isn't like MS Office, and I had to learn to do a lot of things over again before it would perform well for me.  A whole lot of people can't just switch on a whim - they need MS Office, and are going to continue to use it.
Thankfully, however, none of those people will  be me.
 
2014-03-25 10:52:54 PM  

devine: This. RTF is not TXT.
/reads email with pine
//ok, not really
///rtf is still not txt



Pine is way too newfangled for me, I still use Elm!
 
2014-03-25 11:04:07 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: devine: This. RTF is not TXT.
/reads email with pine
//ok, not really
///rtf is still not txt


Pine is way too newfangled for me, I still use Elm!


You still using telnet and ftp?
/Gopher and archie are too high-falutin'.
 
2014-03-26 03:25:07 AM  
Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to run VB in a text document, has MS made documents formatted in different versions of MS Word compatible with each other yet? Because that would be great.
 
2014-03-26 06:50:09 AM  

ClavellBCMI: .rtf files, not .txt files... but yeah, MS drops yet another ball. Although, why anyone is opening .rtf files from people they don't know is beyond me (it's called *looking at the headers in your emails*, people, I learned that 20 years ago, you see something in there that doesn't match up right, don't open the email (such as an email from, say,XXXXX[[nospam-﹫-backwards] image 7x13]tta[* image 7x13]com with a return path of xxxxx[[nospam-﹫-backwards] image 7x13]oohay[* image 7x13]com)).


Even attachments in email from people you know should be suspect. AOLOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail accounts have been cracked a several times to send out crap like this using the contact lists in the account.
 
2014-03-26 07:29:45 AM  

lordargent: MHudson: red5ish: Open Office keeps on looking better and better, doesn't it?

Clunky, slow, and iffy on formats. Gets me going every time.

But enough about MS Word :P

it amazes me sometimes what the open source community can produce with a much smaller number of developers, compared to large retail software with who knows how many developers working on something.

// It's really hard for me to ding OpenOffice for not being able to be 100% compatible with an proprietary file format.

// Likewise, it's hard for me to ding Gimp for not having the same features as photoshop, given that for a large chunk of time, Gimp just had 12 people committing code.


So basically they are crap and don't work very well, but there is a really good excuse. Who gives a fark? I want to do stuff, I don't care the backstory and motivations of the developers behind a piece of software I am using, I care about whether it does what I need it to do, and how easy it is to use.


If I get sent a Word document and the software can't read it in without screwing up the format, that software is 100% useless, and I don't care who is to blame for that, I just switch to use some software that does work.
 
2014-03-26 08:27:17 AM  

red5ish: Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to run VB in a text document, has MS made documents formatted in different versions of MS Word compatible with each other yet? Because that would be great.


Ages ago - here's your guide.
 
2014-03-26 10:32:46 AM  

taurusowner: Maybe if the interface didn't look like it hasn't changed in 10 years. It might be stable and secure, but the main point of software is still  actually using it. And Open Office is chore to even look at much less use for anything beyond a 5 paragraph middle school essay.


That's possibly the dumbest thing anyone ever said.
It works, it works very well, and it has no issues.  But "oh, it doesn't have a update, or a patch, or a random change every four days!"
You buy a new phone every year, don't you?  And you insist it's "better" than the one before, right?

Get off the internet, you're not competent enough to be here.  And that's saying something.
 
2014-03-26 06:32:36 PM  

ds615: taurusowner: Maybe if the interface didn't look like it hasn't changed in 10 years. It might be stable and secure, but the main point of software is still  actually using it. And Open Office is chore to even look at much less use for anything beyond a 5 paragraph middle school essay.

That's possibly the dumbest thing anyone ever said.
It works, it works very well, and it has no issues.  But "oh, it doesn't have a update, or a patch, or a random change every four days!"
You buy a new phone every year, don't you?  And you insist it's "better" than the one before, right?

Get off the internet, you're not competent enough to be here.  And that's saying something.


You're a very angry and bitter person aren't you. You may want to talk to someone about that.
 
2014-03-27 02:08:37 AM  

xria: If I get sent a Word document and the software can't read it in without screwing up the format, that software is 100% useless, and I don't care who is to blame for that, I just switch to use some software that does work.


Word can't even open DOC files from other versions of word without screwing up the format (depending on versions).

The thing about proprietary file formats is that they're proprietary, you have to reverse engineer the functionality.

The problem isn't the functionality of the open source software, the problem is that people are locked into a closed system. Without that lock in, OO is a very functional.

// I come from a design background, the tool of choice for documents where the formatting mattered was framemaker. Trying to strictly control formatting for long documents in word was a painful process.
 
2014-03-27 04:03:15 AM  

steveGswine: red5ish: Aside from the obvious benefits of being able to run VB in a text document, has MS made documents formatted in different versions of MS Word compatible with each other yet? Because that would be great.

Ages ago - here's your guide.


Yes. Thanks. There are things that Word does not do particularly well, and one of those is work well with documents created with other versions of Word. Backwards compatibility, which is what you linked to describes, isn't too bad. Compatibility in the other direction is problematic. When you are sending documents back and forth and editing and formatting them it can be ugly.

If you work with documents a lot, with old documents, with customers who have different versions of Word, you will see some ugly formatting failures.
 
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