[Marxism] Hidden dangers of Word *.doc documents
intnsred at socialismonline.us
Sun May 1 15:51:07 MDT 2005
I recently read a message of someone raving about Microsoft Word and a
couple of its features and, as usual, I shook my head in quiet disgust.
It's been long known that Word buries your Microsoft-issued "Globally
Unique Identifier" (GUID) into its proprietary *.DOC format files, along with
many other potentially privacy-violating features. While many people enjoy
Word's plethora of features, these do lead to more bugs and, even worse, even
the most experienced Word users often forget that Microsoft does not code
software with any serious security.
Case in point. In a startling revelation, Italian journalists have learned
additional censored details (1/3 of the entire document's worth!) of the US
report regarding the US killing of an Italian intelligence agent following
the rescue of kidnapped journalist Giuliana Sgrena.
This magnifies a political embarrassment of international scope. The US
and Italian gov'ts already disagreed over facts involved in the killing. But
now some of the nitty-gritty details are known. How was this feat of
journalism accomplished? With "deep throat" style informants and following
No, just from the fact that the gov't officials that wrote the report were
foolish enough to use Microsoft Word. Worse, the authors weren't aware or
conscious enough of all of Word's security flaws.
In this case, the Italian journalists simply copied the "hidden text" from
the publicly distributed *.PDF file and they then pasted it into a word
processor. Since the original document was made with Word -- voila! -- a
(FYI, if you read Italian, you can read about this scoop here
or download the *.DOC file here
Now, if you think this type of bungling happens only to American report
writers, you're wrong. This is an international problem. Back during the
buildup for the Iraq invasion, British Ministry of Defense officials released
a document of a report to journalists who were able to recover text to learn
who the original author of the document was; and the author had some very
embarrassing statements to make about the Blair government's war claims.
Again, all because of Microsoft Word.
So, a word (no pun intended:-) to the wise: When using Word, be sure to
keep these "features" in mind or just use a different tool that's more secure
and appropriate to the task.
Ever wonder why half of NYC residents, the majority of Canadians and
millions of people around the world think the US gov't was complicit
in the attacks of Sep. 11th? Get a free DVD video examining 9/11 at
<http://reopen911.org/freedvd.php> and find out why!
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