Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 (SP3) represents a major evolution in security for Office 2003. It further hardens the Office suite against potential attacks and other security threats.
This service pack also includes fixes that have been previously released as separate updates for Microsoft Office 2003. SP3 also enhances security by including recent, individually released patches.
It includes new features and tools. Such as MOICE – Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment. And File Block – which were developed as part of the 2007 Microsoft Office system.
These two security tools, released separately earlier this year, reduce the threat of malware concealed within Microsoft Office documents, the paper says.
Office 2003 SP3 also disables the Fast Save feature in Word 2003, which speeds up the document-saving process by saving only the changes made to a document.
For businesses, the service pack is a crucial update that addresses security issues around legacy file formats and add-ins using the Microsoft COM (component object model) and privacy concerns regarding hidden metadata. SP3 also minimizes the issues that previously caused distractions.
MOICE allows users to open Microsoft Office documents from unknown senders with relative safety. It uses the converters in the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 file formats to convert binary format files into the newer Office Open XML format, it says.
File Block complements MOICE by allowing IT administrators to temporarily prevent certain file formats from opening through registry or group policy. This provides companies with the flexibility needed to quickly respond to evolving threats without unduly limiting productivity, the paper says.
How the BI landscape is changing. “The most noticeable of these changes is that the functionality of COM add-ins and ActiveX controls may be reduced or blocked if the component uses insecure interface methods. Microsoft Office 2003 SP3 automatically tests all COM components and limits potentially insecure functions,” the paper says.
Legacy file formats created using Microsoft Office programs are also disabled by default as this increases security since hackers can more easily find vulnerabilities in the older formats. IT administrators can change the settings to allow specific document formats, if needed, according to the paper.
Service Pack 3 applies to the following programs:
- Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003
- Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003
- Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003
- Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003
- Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003
- Microsoft Office Access 2003
- Microsoft Office Access 2003 Runtime
- Microsoft Office Excel 2003
- Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003
- Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003
- Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
- Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003
- Microsoft Office Publisher 2003
- Microsoft Office Word 2003
- Microsoft Office 2003 Web Components
- Microsoft Office XP Web Components
Homepage – http://www.microsoft.com
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