Microsoft is scrambling to issue a Windows update after security researchers discovered a flaw in PowerPoint that hackers are using to seize control of computers.
Computer World reports that the security problem affects all of the currently supported releases of Windows. The vulnerability was discovered by three Google employees and two staff of McAfee Security.
Hackers can use the flaw to send a target an infected PowerPoint presentation. When opened, the file will ask for certain permissions to display it. Most users, unaware of the security risks from files downloaded over the internet, will simply click to grant permissions. Once they have done that, hackers have control over the computer and can quietly intercept its web traffic.
In an advisory notice on its site, Microsoft warned that it was aware of “limited, targeted attacks” taking place using the PowerPoint vulnerability. The company says it is currently investigating the problem, and it may issue a security update to protect users. In the mean time, Microsoft has released a security workaround to block infected PowerPoint files.
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