In parallel with its release of 17 bulletins on Patch Tuesday this month, Microsoft also unveiled two new tools that are meant to help make a couple of common exploitation scenarios more difficult for attackers.
The company released a tool called Office File Validation for some older versions of Office, including Office 2003 and 2007. The feature is specifically designed to give users information about whether there's a potentially malicious component in an Office file that the user is trying to open. When the user attempts to open a file, the Office File Validation tool will inspect it and look for any signs of malicious behavior. If there's a problem, the user will get a warning dialog box giving him the opportunity to cancel the operation.
...The second enhancement Microsoft pushed out on Tuesday is an update to winload.exe, the component that loads Windows. The update is designed to help prevent some techniques that rootkits use to evade detection and remain persistent on infected machines.