According to the researchers, hackers can use the vulnerabilities to inject malicious code into Word, Excel and Outlook programs. As a result, cybercriminals can gain access to computers, files and data. This enables hackers to extort money from owners of compromised computers.
The source of the weaknesses are coding errors in a graphing function called MSGraph, which has been used in the Office software package since 1995. Researchers believe the security flaws have existed for several years.
The Israeli experts urged Windows software users to upgrade as soon as possible. Check Point Software said they reported the vulnerability to Microsoft, and the problems have now been fixed.
“Although we found only four vulnerabilities on the attack surface during our research, it is impossible to say how many more such vulnerabilities are still waiting to be identified,” Check Point Software said.