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Office 2003 may pose virus problem

The latest test version of Microsoft Office 2003 could cause problems for antivirus companies because the XML-based format it supports will bog down scanning software, according to security experts. THE PROBLEM CENTERS on macros embedded in documents in the Office 2003 beta, or test, version. When saved as an XML (Extensible Markup Language) file, the macros can more or less wind up anywhere. This means that scanners must search the entire contents of a file, rather than examine the part of the file where macros are always positioned. Although a simple solution has been put forward by the antivirus industry, Microsoft has not yet introduced any changes. Microsoft could not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue. Full Story

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