Microsoft is warning about a new security vulnerability tied to .RTF files that could give hackers complete control of your computer.
RTF is short for “Rich Text Format,” an older file extension type associated with word processing applications. According to the Microsoft security advisory bulletin, hackers have found a way to embed malware in .RTF files. Once opened in Microsoft Word 2010, a hacker could access your files or use your computer to send spam and malware to others. Infected files won’t compromise a computer running Word 2013, but they still cause a nasty crash.
While there’s no fix from Microsoft yet, keeping safe is easy. RTF files are relatively uncommon, so you should try to avoid opening them entirely (if you can) until Microsoft comes up with a fix. If you’re concerned about protecting a family computer, Microsoft has created an automated “Fix it” tool to block Word from opening RTF files by default.
Of course, you should always make sure your computer and other devices are protected with anti-virus software. And remember to keep your software up to date!
[Virus detection warning via Shutterstock]