A new and potentially dangerous security flaw that could affect anyone using the internet was reported Jan. 5 by Finjan Software, a computer security company in San Jose, Calif. The security hole allows hackers to steal data from a web surfer's computer if the victim's computer is loaded with Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program, said Finjan chief executive Bill Lyons.

"We believe this could affect tens of millions of users as they're configured today," said Lyons. "An attacker could steal or copy innocent internet users' private files without their knowledge."

Here's how the security flaw works, according to Finjan: A hacker sets up...

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