Using a malformed WMF image, an attacker could cause a buffer overflow on OpenOffice-equipped computers and introduce additional malicious code remotely to hijack the system.
OpenOffice.org patched its namesake open-source application suite and fixed a flaw in how the software processes the same file format that plagued Microsoft Windows with major problems in 2005.
Earlier this week, OpenOffice.org posted a patch for the Windows, Linux, and Solaris editions of the bundle to fix a flaw in how WMF (Windows Metafile) image files are processed. Using a malformed WMF image, an attacker could cause a buffer overflow on OpenOffice-equipped computers, then possibly introduce additional malicious code remotely to hijack the system.
In December 2005, a different WMF vulnerability in Windows was exploited by attackers and identity thieves; the problem was serious enough for Microsoft to rush out a fix by Jan. 5, nearly a week before the next regularly-scheduled security update. Microsoft went "out-of-cycle" on a patch only twice during all of 2006.
Danish vulnerability tracker Secunia pegged the OpenOffice.org vulnerability as "Highly critical," its second-from-the-top ranking in a five-level threat scoring system. Secunia also recommended that users apply the patch -- a single file must be downloaded and then substituted manually by the user for its earlier incarnation -- or update to the month-old version 2.1.
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