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Microsoft Corp. on Monday issued an emergency security warning saying that hackers have found a way to booby-trap certain common Word files with the .rtf extension.
This is the worst kind of attack. A hacker who manages to get you to open a booby-trapped file can gain control of your computer. From there, the hacker can do all kinds of things. For instance, the hacker can turn your computer into a so-called zombie by putting it on an illegal botnet. That means hackers can use your computer as part of a bigger network of computers to do all kinds of illegal things — like send spam, spread viruses, and commit fraud.
Microsoft is recommending that you block all .rtf documents from your computer. It released a free tool that will set that up for you.
"I received six phone calls about this Windows support scam," said ... Callers pose as computer support technicians, often from Microsoft itself ...
Fake Windows tech support calls continue to plague consumers ...
I received and interesting phone call this afternoon by someone who said they were trying to fix my microsoft. He was walking me through things to do on my computer and was telling me it was extremely urgent. He wanted me to download something
Acknowledgments Microsoft thanks the following for working with us to help protect customers:
Drew Hintz, Shane Huntley, and Matty Pellegrino of the Google Security Team for reporting the Word RTF Memory Corruption Vulnerability (CVE-2014-1761)