Microsoft admits security flaw in Mac Office 2008 Installer; promises fix

“You may have seen recent reports on the web of a security issue in the installer for Mac Office 2008. The issue is that our installer is incorrectly granting ownership of the files to a particular local user as it installs them, so that if your Mac actually has a second local user and that user is not an administrator on your Mac, they could modify your Office 2008 install. The issue does not expose the Office 2008 install to modifications by any networked user account or to any local account other than the second one created on your Mac,” Erik Schwiebert posts in Microsoft’s Office for Mac blog.

“Microsoft and the MacBU take all security issues seriously, and we intend to fix this situation in several ways. First of all, if you have already installed Office 2008, you can run two commands in the Terminal to fix the file ownership and remove the security concern (see instructions below). Second, the MacBU is working on an update to Office 2008 that will automatically fix the file ownership for you. This update will be made available via Microsoft’s AutoUpdate tool and via a web download,” Schwiebert writes.

Instructions for updating the file ownership settings yourself (admin required) here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is really good at promising; delivering, not so much. Do you really need Microsoft Office? Give Apple’s free 30-day iWork ’08 trial a try and find out for yourself.


  1. Sadly, yes, I do need office. Because my office works with several clients that need to share .docx documents back and forth. While I do have, use and prefer iWork, I also purchased the Office 2008 upgrade to be sure that the work gets done smoothly. My clients know we are committed to open source but they also understand the ball and chain their technology is tied to.

  2. I don’t like Microsoft Windows Operating systems nor do I like their Music Players.

    But they do make a decent Game Console & a decend word processor ( Office 2008 ). Microsoft over promises & underdelivers, but office is a decent software. iWork is an awsome program but I feel I can get more done with ofice. And since I’m obilgated to use Office for Windows, the transition of using it on a Mac (which I have at home) is seemless.

  3. Another bogus report from MAC astroturfers. There are NO Microsoft Office security flaws in the wild. Enough with the FUD already, MAC sheep.

    The problem is MAC didn’t license Windows Vista from Microsoft so that there would only be one version of Office—Office for Windows. I don’t know why Apple has to make their own OS when there’s Windows.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  4. iWork is nicer. but if u work in an office, u will need Office.
    bc chances are not everyone is going to have a mac they are going to have pc’s with Office.
    and they will have word and want .doc files or send u formatted .doc files.
    or use outlook with ms exchange server for their corporate email accounts. which sucks when u want to use mail for all ur mail.

  5. @Lilochris,” iWork is an awsome program but I feel I can get more done with ofice. And since I’m obilgated to use Office for Windows, the transition of using it on a Mac (which I have at home) is seemless.”

    Can you get more work done, or do you only FEEL you can? Is it seamless, or does it seem less of an awesome problem? Words mean things.

  6. The only reason I stick with Office is that I have to share documents with references created with Endnote. Guess what: The latest version of Endnote is still not able to work with Word for Mac 2008!

    So for now I just stick with Word 2004, Keynote, and whatever spreadsheet program opens when I double-click on spreadsheet files (most of them are either templates or created on Windozes — and for my work, I seriously do not see differences between Excel and Numbers).

    I can open Office 2007 files with no problem. So, jog on, Office 2008! (for now)

  7. As an attorney, I use Office 2004 mainly because of its tight integration with e-mail, calendar, notes, tasks, contacts and documents. The Project Center is its most important feature, and one I value highly. Does any other office suite offer this for the Mac? I’m not sure, but I think Office 2004 could use some competition in this regard.

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