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Innovation in Information Security

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MOICE is Nice

Microsoft have released MOICE, the Microsoft Office Isolated Conversion Environment, a tool designed to migrate existing Office 2003 documents to the OpenXML format supported by recent versions of Microsoft Office. As the name suggests, this process takes place in an isolated environment, effectively neutralising any malware within the documents being converted.

This may not be as avhievable as the name of the tool suggests. If it is being used to convert a malicious document, then MOICE may:

If the isolation environment properly robust, then a malicious data file should not cause MOICE to crash.

Even more critical for end users, and what may prevent MOICE from reaching a critical mass, is that it strips macros and VBA scripts from Office files as they are converted. While this might make many people happy, a lot of companies rely upon their specially-scripted spreadsheets and documents to make them money. Killing this capability will not be supported by many people.

Available for free from Microsoft, the tool should be an essential part of any administrator's toolbox.

26 May 2007

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