Office 2008: Vital application files are owned by non-admin user ID 502

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
January 23rd, 2008 • 10:25 am

Good Lord. If anyone needed proof of the incompetence of Microsoft’s MacBU developers, this surely is a prime example.

I am no developer, but I don’t have any trouble understanding this post by Joel Bruner, because I can easily verify it on my own machine.

Yes indeed, when I select any font inside the “Microsoft” folder inside my main library’s “Fonts” folder, and I look at the “Sharing & Permissions” section of the file information window, I see that the owner of these font files is… a test user that I have created in my Mac OS X environment for testing purposes.

That test user does not even have admin privileges!

I am, as admin user, able to access and edit these font files, but only because the group setting for these font files is the admin group, which includes me as admin user. But I am not the owner of these files, even though I am the one who installed them! The owner is this test user, who is only the owner of the files because he happens to be user ID 502.

And the same thing is true, not just for the fonts folder, but also for the “Microsoft” folder inside the main library’s “Application Support” folder, and indeed for the “Microsoft Office 2008” folder itself inside the “Applications” folder.

Now, this particular blunder does not really have any immediate impact on my use of Office 2008. But surely it is beyond embarrassing for the self-proclaimed “largest Mac developer outside Apple” to have made such an error.

What happens if user ID 502 happens to be someone who has no idea what he’s doing? Even without admin privileges, he’s going to be able to modify the contents of all these folders that are vital to the proper operation of Microsoft Office 2008 for all users on the machine.

Eeek. This is really pathetic.

One Response to “Office 2008: Vital application files are owned by non-admin user ID 502”

  1. Office 2008 updater 12.0.1 released. Post experiences here. - MacNN Forums says:

    […] Originally Posted by Cold Warrior  What do you mean? The installer of the first release created its files with a user ID of 502 (even if that ID didn’t exist on the system). A potential security flaw: brunerd ? Office 2008, 502, and you Betalogue ? Blog Archive ? Office 2008: Vital application files are owned by non-admin user ID 502 […]

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