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Microsoft Security Advisory (937696)

Release of Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) and File Block Functionality for Microsoft Office

Published:

Today we are announcing the availability of the Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) feature and more widely notifying customers of the File Block functionality for Microsoft Office 2003 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Both features are designed to make it easier for customers to protect themselves from Office files that may contain malicious software, such as unsolicited Office files received from unknown or known sources. MOICE makes it easier by providing new security mitigation technologies designed to convert specific Microsoft Office files types, while File Block provides a mechanism that can control and block the opening of specific Microsoft Office file types.

The Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment (MOICE) uses the 2007 Microsoft Office system converters to convert Office 2003 binary documents to the newer Office open XML format. The Conversion process helps protect customers by converting the Office 2003 binary file format to the Office open XML format in an isolated environment. In summary, MOICE provides a mechanism for customers to pre-process potentially unsafe Office 2003 binary documents, by virtue of the conversions process it provides customers with a greater degree of certainty that the document can be considered safe.

We encourage Microsoft Office customers to review the related Knowledge base article and consider whether MOICE can help protect users in your IT environment. For more information about this release, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 935865.

The File Block Functionality for Microsoft Office 2003 and the 2007 Microsoft Office system allows administrators to restrict via registry and Group Policy specific Office file types that can or cannot be opened when using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Blocking specific Office file types allows administrators to temporarily deny users the ability to open certain files, such as when a threat of attack from a given Office file type exists.

We encourage Microsoft Office customers to review the related Knowledge base article and consider whether File Block can help protect users in your IT environment. For more information about this release, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 922849, Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 922848 and Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 922847.

When MOICE and File Block are used together they are an effective mitigation strategy for customers when the threat of attack using certain Office types exists. This enables customers to continue using Microsoft Office with a high degree of assurance that the files being opened are considered safe and will not infect users with malicious software.

General Information

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Disclaimer:

The information provided in this advisory is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions:

  • V1.0 (May 21, 2007): Advisory published.