First StarOffice, OpenOffice Virus Found

Security researchers may have found the first known virus for StarOffice and OpenOffice.org. According to a Kaspersky Lab researcher, the exploit is known as a "macro virus," previously only known to infect Microsoft Office applications.

Kaspersky researchers have named the new virus 'Stardust.' "Stardust is the first virus I know of which is theoretically capable of infecting StarOffice and/or OpenOffice," researcher 'Kostya' wrote Tuesday. "It's written in Star Basic. It downloads an image file (with adult content) from the Internet and then opens this file in a new document."

Stardust is a 'proof-of-concept' virus, or one created to demonstrate how vulnerabilities could be exploited for malicious purposes. Even so, it continues a recent trend of malware and viruses appearing in places where most would least expect it -- be it UNIX, Linux, or even Mac OS X.

Up until recently, most computer users have incorrectly assumed that the plague of malware was a "Windows-only" issue. However, such an assumption has challenged both security researchers and hackers alike to find issues in non-Windows based clients, and for the most part, they have been successful in doing so.

Macro viruses for Windows have already caused trouble. At least once in the last year, one was used to launch an attack against Office users, and still unpatched holes leave open the possibly that more could occur before the Redmond company has a chance to act. Microsoft is expected to release an update for Word XP and 2003 in early June.

Sun, which creates StarOffice and supports the OpenOffice.org project, had not commented on the issue as of press time.

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