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Sun StarOffice documents that "phone home" and other interesting problems
From: Kurt Seifried <listuser () seifried org>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2000 22:32:40 -0600

I'm surprised no-one has yet posted this to Bugtraq, so here goes.
StarOffice 5.2, downloaded from Sun. Simply insert a graphic, for filename
give the URL. I simply used a gif from one of my websites, and watched the
logfile while loading the document/etc.

HTML document: it phones home, no warning, not unexpected.
StarWriter document (version 5), it phones home, no warning.
StarSpreadsheet (name?), it phones home, no warning.
StarImpress (presentation ala powerpoint software), it phones home, no

Opening these documents in Linux, same results. The weirdest thing is when I
ran strings on them I saw bits of data from other

What concerns me even more is this: under Windows I created a new
spreadsheet, inserted an image (http://blahblah), saved it and exited, then
ran it through strings, and saw some data from an email I sent a while ago.
WTF??? Closed outlook, tried it with starwriter, nothing, tried it again
with starcalc, wasn't able to recreate it...

Needless to say StarOffice raises some rather interesting issues, and seems
to have some problems/glitches, if anyone can confirm this I would love to
know. As for a warning dialog before downloading internet components that
might be nice, something like:

"do you wish to retrieve http://www.example.org/trackingimage-091919.gif?";

But I doubt Sun will add that in.

Kurt Seifried
SecurityPortal, your focal point for security on the net

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