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Re: Microsoft Word documents that "phone" home
From: Charles Sprickman <spork () INCH COM>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 18:05:26 -0400

Is anyone aware of whether or not other applications capable of opening
word docs are vulnerable.  Examples would be StarOffice and Applixware...



On Wed, 30 Aug 2000, Crooks, James wrote:

exploit also affects .rtf files in MS Word 97 (URL in .rtf: gets ignored in MS
WordPad, gets error message in Lotus Word Pro 97) - I'm getting someone to
verify operation of Word in MS Office 2000...

"Richard M. Smith" <rms () PRIVACYFOUNDATION ORG> on 08/30/2000 07:52:51 AM

Please respond to "Richard M. Smith" <rms () PRIVACYFOUNDATION ORG>
Subject:  [BUGTRAQ] Microsoft Word documents that "phone" home


The Privacy Foundation has just released an advisory
on an issue that we discovered earlier this month
in Microsoft Word.  We found that it is possible to
embedded "Web bugs" in Word documents.  The Web bugs
allow the author of a document to track via the Internet
where a document is being read.  The trick could be used
to monitor leaks of confidential documents from a
organization to outsiders as well as detecting
copyright violations.  In addition, it is also
possible to place Web bugs in individual paragraphs
and detect when the text is copied from one Word
document to another.

The complete advisory is available at the Foundation's
Web site:


A demonstration "bugged" document for Word 97 and Word 2000
has been set up at:


We also found that Excel 2000 spreadsheet files and
PowerPoint 2000 slideshows can be "bugged" in the same


Richard M. Smith
Chief Technology Officer
Privacy Foundation

Email: rms () privacyfoundation org

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