Microsoft on Saturday fixed a bug that locked out Office 2003 users from accessing documents safeguarded with the company's rights management security technology.

Apparently, Microsoft forgot to extend the expiration date of the digital certificates used to control access to sensitive Office 2003 documents.

On Friday, Microsoft acknowledged the problem with Office 2003 and Rights Management Service (RMS) that had blocked users from opening or saving protected documents. By Saturday, the company had rushed a hotfix into place.

All Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook documents from the Office 2003 suite that had been locked with RMS were unavailable as of Dec. 11, Microsoft said Friday night in a post to the Office Sustained Engineering blog.

Users saw the message, "Unexpected error occurred. Please try again later or contact your system administrator" when they tried to open or save RMS-protected documents.

Full story: Computerworld