Guest writer Rick Robinette, one of my favorite Blogging buddies, explains why MS Office 2000 is poised to become a security risk.
You have heard it here, and on other blogs associated with “What’s On My PC…” – “Keep your software up-to-date!” (to protect yourself from potential security vulnerabilities, or weaknesses).
But, what do you do when the software maker stops supporting a specific product version? The common sense approach is to upgrade; however, in some cases where economics (cost to upgrade) becomes a factor, the user will stick with the version that has economically worked for them. A good example of this scenario are the people still using Microsoft Office 2000.
I really do not know what the numbers of actual users (or businesses) are, but if you are a Microsoft Office 2000 user, be warned that the lifecycle for Microsoft Office 2000 comes to an end on July 14, 2009.
Microsoft initially retired “Mainstream Support” for Office 2000 in mid-2004; however, extended support (for critical updates, patches, and fixes) continue to be available until July 14, 2009.
To put this in perspective:
Office 2000 has been patched 15 times so far this year alone, 12 of which were labeled “critical,” Microsoft’s most serious threat ranking.
Just last week, Microsoft patched 10 bugs in PowerPoint 2000, the presentation maker in Office 2000.
[ Source: Computerworld ]
If you are connected to the internet (or any network for that matter) and are still using Office 2000, after July 14th, 2009, then you are at risk of being targeted for any future potential security vulnerabilities (i.e. hijacking).
In a sense, Microsoft Office 2000 will become a security vulnerability in itself and a potential avenue for bot infections, etc. It is advisable that you upgrade to a newer version of Microsoft Office, prior to July 14, 2009, to protect yourself and other users.
Free alternatives exist to replace Microsoft Office; perhaps the most popular is the outstanding open source application Open Office 3.1. Many software application reviewers consider Open Office to be the equal of MS Office in most respects.
For information on this excellent free suite of office tools, checkout OpenOffice.org for information and download links.
This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.
Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.