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Does running MS Office make my mac less secure?


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#1 MaryBet82

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Posted 26 June 2011 - 06:01 PM

I just installed an update for MS Office 2011 for mac that included patches for 2 security vulnerabilities in excel and PP that could allow "code to overwrite memory". Office 2011 allows me to write macros and, of course, to run macros.

Is Office more at risk than iWork?

Can someone explain how a CodeCreep could trigger a memory overwrite? Would I have to open a bad office document? Could importing a bad graphic into an office doc do it? Is this a scenario where it would be better not to be in an administrator account? Is this risk more theoretical than real?
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WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
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#2 keyboardNinja

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:02 PM

Any software can be vulnerable, and Office is no different. That being said, M$ is pretty good about plugging the holes.

I'd say you're just being paranoid.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 28 June 2011 - 11:03 PM.

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#3 computerxpds

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Posted 29 June 2011 - 08:26 PM

Yeah you should be fine. I wouldn't worry about it too much. :)
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#4 MaryBet82

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:41 PM

Thanks keyboardNinja & computerxpds,

Yes, I'm paranoid - trying to get over it. I actually feel so secure using a mac that I'm afraid I'm going to get sloppy. I really like the macro capability of Word 2011, but I wondered if I needed to be more vigilant than Pages/Numbers users. Altho I wouldn't know how to be more vigilant, because I don't understand how a CodeCreep could utilize those security holes in excel & PP.
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#5 keyboardNinja

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:26 PM

I actually feel so secure using a mac that I'm afraid I'm going to get sloppy.

You're not the only one...

http://www.google.com/search?q=mac+virus

Notice the first 2 results:
December 2010: Mac virus onslaught in 2011? Not so fast
5 months later: New Mac Trojan horse masquerades as virus scanner

the best defense ... is education and common sense.


More: Mac OS X has you covered ... really?

We'll not go into what constitutes a virus and what doesn't, but the point is, no system is 100% safe from compromise, be it by hacker, malware, or whatever.

Follow the basic, common-sense-of-computing rules (keep your software up-to-date, run an anti-virus, etc.) and you'll be okay most of the time.

Edited by keyboardNinja, 30 June 2011 - 05:28 PM.

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#6 MaryBet82

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 11:54 PM

Thanks for the links keyboardNinja,

I'm still debating what antivirus I want to run. I'm planning on just doing regular scans and not constant real-time scanning. What I've been wondering is what these AV programs have been finding on macs, besides the recent MacDefender type trojans. A friend who runs mackeeper said its av found several viruses on his machine - windows-type not active on a mac. So a good thing to run if you share files w/ pc users so you don't infect them. But are av programs on macs protecting macs against any malware currently?
mac 10.6 on macbook pro
WinXP sp2 on Dell 380 w/ 512 MB RAM- currently dead in the water
WinXP tab ed sp 3 on Thinkpad X41 w/ 1.5 GB RAM - lemony flavored
Win2K Sp4 on Sony VAIO GXR600 w/ 512 MB RAM - currently blue screening

#7 keyboardNinja

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 01:21 AM

But are av programs on macs protecting macs against any malware currently?

Sure. We run Sophos at work on all our computers (Mac and PC). I've seen Sophos block stuff on both platforms.

Avast is coming out with a free version of their antivirus for Mac soon. It's still in beta now: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=78646.0
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#8 bailey2007player

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 09:13 AM

But are av programs on macs protecting macs against any malware currently?

Sure. We run Sophos at work on all our computers (Mac and PC). I've seen Sophos block stuff on both platforms.

Avast is coming out with a free version of their antivirus for Mac soon. It's still in beta now: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=78646.0


Sophos does offer a Free Mac AV in fact... i recommend it...

#9 keyboardNinja

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 11:09 AM

Humph...I did not know that. Thanks for the info. :)
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