Rapid7 Vulnerability & Exploit Database

CVE-2020-16933: Microsoft Word Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability [Office for Mac]

Free InsightVM Trial No credit card necessary
Watch Demo See how it all works
Back to Search

CVE-2020-16933: Microsoft Word Security Feature Bypass Vulnerability [Office for Mac]



A security feature bypass vulnerability exists in Microsoft Word software when it fails to properly handle .LNK files. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could use a specially crafted file to perform actions in the security context of the current user. For example, the file could then take actions on behalf of the logged-on user with the same permissions as the current user. To exploit the vulnerability, a user must open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Microsoft Word software. In an email attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending the specially crafted file to the user and convincing the user to open the file. In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a website (or leverage a compromised website that accepts or hosts user-provided content) that contains a specially crafted file that is designed to exploit the vulnerability. However, an attacker would have no way to force the user to visit the website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince the user to click a link, typically by way of an enticement in an email or Instant Messenger message, and then convince the user to open the specially crafted file. The security update addresses the vulnerability by correcting how Microsoft Word handles these files.


  • office-for-mac-upgrade-16_16_27
  • office-for-mac-upgrade-16_42_0

With Rapid7 live dashboards, I have a clear view of all the assets on my network, which ones can be exploited, and what I need to do in order to reduce the risk in my environment in real-time. No other tool gives us that kind of value and insight.

– Scott Cheney, Manager of Information Security, Sierra View Medical Center