January 2018 Office updates roundup

So many patches for Microsoft Office and Windows in this month’s package of bug fixes.  Few parts of Windows or Office aren’t patched this month, either directly or indirectly.

According to Microsoft there’s ‘only’ 56 patched security holes in their products, this month alone.  In reality there’s a lot more patching going on, just how much depends on how you slice it.

All supported Office releases get patched.  Office 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 for Windows also Office 2016 for Mac.  Windows 10, 8.1, 7 and server systems are also fixed.

Equation Editor

Yet another bug in the old Equation Editor was found.  Back in November 2017 a bug in the original Equation Editor was being exploited by hackers.  Microsoft patched that security hole and another in an interesting way.

Now another security bug has been found so Microsoft has decided to disable the old Equation Editor entirely.  This only applies to equations in documents using the old pre-Office 2007 Equation Editor v3.

Office 2007 and later have a newer Equation Editor.  If you really have to use the older Equation Editor, Microsoft recommends MathType which works with the older equations but safely.  There’s a 30 day trial version of Mathtype available.

This may not affect many people unless they open an old document with an equation.  Most documents will use the newer Word equation system which now supports LaTeX or a third party alternative.

Equation is the second piece of old Office technology to be dumped in recent times.  Dynamic Data Exchange, DDE was finally dropped in December.

MailSploit for Mac

Mac users get a security patch for an attack on Outlook 2016 for Mac.

Fonts and Graphics

There are more patches for the fonts and graphics parts of Windows / Office.

Microsoft’s explanations of all these security bugs and patches are, per usual, as clear as mud.

All these patches will be pushed to your Windows and Office automatically unless you’ve chosen to pause or delay updating.

Office 2016 for Windows, Office 365 ‘Click to Run’ users will be updated to Version 1711, build 8730.2175.

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