Fix for Office 2008 Security Issue


For those that have installed Office 2008, you may have seen some news floating on the internets about improper permissions — that were created by the installer — potentially allowing another local user to access your documents. It’s not a remote exploit issue and most folks are probably not vulnerable (you only need to be concerned if you’ve created another user on the system).

Erik Schwiebert posted instructions for a temporary fix over at Mac Mojo and Microsoft will be issuing an official patch/update to address the issue as well. Erik’s instuctions require some Terminal-fu, so I wrapped them into an executable – Fix Office 2008 Permissions.

Just download/extract the archive and run the executable. You will be prompted for your password since the fix requires elevated privileges.

If you have any issues with the executable or following Erik’s instructions, post them in the comments and I’ll see if your particular install requires any tweaking.



have they still not had a patch to fix this issue yet? what could take them so long?

Bob Rudis

@Patrick haven’t had any feedback along those lines. If you copy/pasted from Mac Mojo before ~0700 Seattle-time, you’ll need to re-do the cut/paste. Erik missed a quote and fixed it early this morning.

@Karen: It will just fail on that directory, same as pasting the lines from Erik’s blog.

Since Microsoft will probably wait until “patch Tuesday” I’ll make the script a bit more robust (check for presence of directories) and more verbose (tell you what it’s doing with any errors) [if that’s something folks would like]


Thanks for providing the file. But after fixing the permissions, I couldn’t copy and paste and my spotlight icon disappeared suddenly…

Patrick Mosby

I don’t exactly know why but your little application didn’t work for me. It just tells me that it’s fixing permissions for the last 30 minutes.

I looked at the Mac Mojo site, pasted in the terminal commands and it was finished in a matter of seconds.



I believe that this will fail for anyone who has installed the Home & Student Edition of Office 2008 since they won’t have a “Library/Automator” directory.

However, you can open up the package, browse through Contents/Resources to the script, open it up in a text editor and edit the commands to remove the above directory. You can then copy and paste the commands to Terminal and run them.

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