Microsoft has issued a WARNING about a severe malware issue with Microsoft Word that can hack your email account without even opening a message! This is a Zero Day vulnerability, which means there is no way to fix this virus yet. Your Dirt Farmer team has the information for you on how to protect yourself, so you do not lose your email or associated Facebook accounts. Check out the details below and please do share with friends if you find our post helpful, to warn them as well.
What it is.
The vulnerability is in Microsoft Word, and it allows the hacker to execute code at the level (user or administrator) of the account holder’s control of the computer. Microsoft has not yet been able to patch this vulnerability. Corrupt emails can take control of your email account and any associated accounts like your Facebook/Farmville , bank accounts , twitter or anything else tied to that email address. Users reporting being hacked have also indicated to members of the DF team that resets tied to their phones have been unsuccessful at reclaiming their accounts.
How to protect yourself.
If you use MICROSOFT OUTLOOK to read your email, you are at HIGHEST RISK!
Microsoft Word is the default email viewer on outlook. This means the hack can occur simply by a malicious message being visible in the preview pane – without even a single click from you.
According to the Microsoft Security Update
“The vulnerability could be exploited through Microsoft Outlook only when using Microsoft Word as the email viewer. Note that by default, Microsoft Word is the email reader in Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft Outlook 2010, and Microsoft Outlook 2013”.
To protect yourself, before viewing any more email in Outlook, click here to read the Microsoft Security Advisory and here (Outlook 2010 or earlier) or here (Outlook 2013) for directions to configure Outlook to read email messages in plain text only. Disabling rich text format in this way will prevent the code from executing/hacking your account according to Microsoft.
If you are not using Outlook, you are at less risk but still need to protect yourself. Make sure not to download, open or click on ANY files with a suffix of .doc , .docx or .rtf unless you are EXTREMELY certain of their origin. Remember that a file coming from a known email address does not assure that it is safe – if a friend or co-worker has been hacked, malware can then come from their address.