According to different studies and investigations, such as those carried out by security experts from Carnegie Mellon, there are fewer vulnerabilities in OpenOffice than in Microsoft Office. That’s not an opinion but a fact. However, we cannot say for sure that OpenOffice is totally safe. Basically because there’s no such thing as software 100% safe without any kind of security flaw that may be detected and exploited by hackers.
This research has been carried out by generating faulty text files that were later opened with different office suites. By appraising the results, the researchers were able to calculate the different flaws and vulnerabilities that could have been exploited to carry out malicious attacks.
In any case, we have to bear in mind two details: the tools used to carry out these security checks, developed by Microsoft in this case, aren’t totally reliable. In turn, the fact that Office has so many users around the world makes it a much more appealing target for hackers.
However, we also have to take into account several other aspects when it comes to choosing this office suite ahead of any other. We’re talking about an open-source project that is now developed with Apacahe’s support but that doesn’t have the same technical backing as Microsoft. That means that in the event of problems related with a severe vulnerability, it would be easier for the guys at Redmond to quickly release a patch, just like they have done in the past with Windows, than for Apache to do so for their free suite. That means that the fix is more than likely to be developed by an individual user with all the problems that that entails.