Affinity Consulting Blog

Security concerns never completely disappear. Microsoft issued an advisory that attackers are using specially configured RTF (rich text format) files to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Word 2010. Opening one of these files could allow the attackers to take control of your computer.

Most law firms no longer work with or receive RTF files, so this should not be a common problem. However, firms using HotDocs versions earlier than the current version 11 know that many HotDocs templates are in RTF format. For those firms special precautions should be taken. Affinity's Word and HotDocs mavens Barron Henley and John Federico have come up with a list of steps to take in order to protect from this RTF exploit.

1. Upgrade to HotDocs 11 AND convert all of your templates to .docx format.

2. Don't open RTF attachments unless you know the sender (and are expecting the sender to email a document to you?) (.doc and .docx are still ok).

3. Change your Outlook settings to make sure you are sending HTML email and not RTF email (so that your email does not get blocked).

4. If you are concerned, change your email to view as “text only” in Outlook’s trust center.

(This is a tricky one because allegedly even a carefully crafted RTF email can exploit this vulnerability – Word is the default email editor for Outlook in 2007, 2010 and 2013).

5. Make sure your antivirus program is updated.

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