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Threat LevelLow threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread
Common name:MS10-056
Technical name:MS10-056
Threat level:Medium
Alias:Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution

It is a group of critical vulnerabilities in certain versions of Office Word, which allows hackers to gain remote control of the affected computer with the same privileges as the logged-on user.

Affected platforms:


First detected on:Aug. 11, 2010
Detection updated on:Aug. 24, 2010

Brief Description 


MS10-056 is not categorized as virus, worm, Trojan or backdoor. It is a group of critical vulnerabilities in Office Word, which allows arbitrary code to be remotely executed in the vulnerable computer.

The affected versions are:

  • Word 2007/2003/2002.
  • Office 2008/2004 for Mac.
  • Open XML File Format Converter for Mac.
  • Word Viewer.
  • Works 9.
  • Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.

If exploited successfully, it allows hackers to gain remote control of the affected computer with the same privileges as the logged-on user. If this user had administrator rights, the hacker could take complete control of the system: create, modify or delete files, install programs, create new user accounts, etc.

It is exploited by creating a specially crafted Word file and sending it via email or hosting it in a website and convincing users to open it.


If you have any of the vulnerable Office components installed on your computer, it is recommended to download and apply the security patch for this vulnerability. Click here to access the web page for downloading the patch.

Bear in mind that MS10-056 replaces several previous bulletins, called MS09-027, MS09-068 and MS10-036 depending on the versions.

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