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Microsoft launches Office 2003 SP3, investigates Windows flaw

Microsoft says customers can start downloading Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3), which includes many of the security enhancements found in the 2007 release. Meanwhile, the software giant is investigating reports of a new zero-day flaw in Windows.

A Microsoft spokeswoman emailed me about Office 2003 SP3 yesterday, writing that “Office 2003 SP3 helps businesses defend themselves against external threats, such as malicious software infections by closing off avenues of attack.”

Another Microsoft spokeswoman emailed me in response to my report on the new flaw affecting the MFC42 and MFC71 libraries offered natively in Windows. According to researcher Jonathan Sarba, attackers could exploit the flaw to run malware on targeted computers.

The Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed the vendor is looking into the reported problem.

“We’re currently unaware of any attacks trying to use the claimed vulnerability or of customer impact,” she wrote.  “We will take steps to determine how customers can protect themselves should we confirm the vulnerability. Once we’re done investigating, we will take appropriate action to help protect customers. This may include providing a security update through the monthly release process, an out-of-cycle update or additional guidance to help customers protect themselves.”

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