French LtC Eric Filiol claims OpenOffice is more dangerous than Microsoft Office… the defects were designed into the product… and no antivirus software can protect it.
Over the last year, LtC Filiol and his team at the Virology and Cryptology Laboratory a Ecole Supérieure et d’Application des Transmissions (VCL-ESAT) built several self-replicating logic bombs and trojan horses. Then they unleashed them against both products.
Filiol’s crew found it was particularly susceptible to malicious macros.
OpenOffice considers macros safe by default.
Before you start complaining about the unfairness of it all, consider Filiol himself. He’s the Head Scientific Officer at France’s Army Signals Academy Virology and Cryptology Laboratory.
At EICAR (the European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research), he demonstrated how malware developers can easily force most commercial antivirus software to divulge its virus detection patterns. Then, by simply changing a couple of bytes of code, they build av-proof viruses.
To beat the black hats, Filiol & Co. prototyped a new, Boolean-based malware detection pattern. He followed that with his own combinatorial, probabilistic malware pattern scanning scheme, which he crafted to defy hostile analysis by malware developers and foil their antivirus bypassing tricks.
Filiol clearly knows his stuff.
Presumably, the man applied the same intellect to probing OpenOffice (a product the government of France dearly loves) and Microsoft Office (a product made by filthy Americans therefore despised by the French bureaucracy).
To reiterate, OpenOffice lost.
Filiol attributes the failure to OpenOffice’s youth. Its developers focus on features to the detriment of security. [Curious. Most security folk say the same thing about Microsoft Office and Windows and IIS, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.]
But OpenOffice will get better, if only because the French and German governments need it. They’ve saved millions of euros by avoiding Microsoft’s licensing schemes, and discovered the comfort found when replicating systems or adding new programs, without worrying over piracy charges.
Doggone it, Europeans have become accustomed to software freedom. And as you know, once something becomes a habit, you don’t change easily. You just deal with any headaches as they pop up. In the past, software habits worked to Microsoft’s advantage.
Today? Not so much.2049