Hello, it's my pleasure to announce to you the future availability of the Office File Validation for Office 2003 and Office 2007.

What is Office File Validation you ask?  Office File Validation is a security feature first introduced in Office 2010 (See David Heise's blog for more information).  Office File Validation was created to help prevent unknown binary file format attacks against Microsoft Office 97-2003 file formats.  What does this mean?  Whenever a user opens Microsoft Office 97-2003 binary file (such as .doc) the file is compared to binary schema.  If the file fails this validation the user is notified that the document could be considered compromised.  In Office 2003 and Office 2007 the user will be prompted about the file status and can choose either to cancel the file opening or to continue to open the file.  In Office 2010 the file will automatically continue to open creating a seamless transition into the Office 2010 Protected View.

In monitoring incoming security cases we've been testing the cases against Office File Validation the results have been fantastic!  Since the year 2007 over 80% of all Microsoft Office security cases would have been caught by Office File Validation.  This is one of the reasons why Microsoft decided to back-port Office File Validation for Office 2003 and Office 2007.  While this is great news for Office 2003 and 2007, this solution doesn't match the benefits that Office 2010 brings to the table.  With Protected View you can continue to view your document in a protected environment along with improved File Blocking capability.

We will continue to provide more information in the coming months about deployment scenarios and the availability.