Next Microsoft Patch Tuesday: This Year's Biggest

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft will release critical updates for six security issues next Tuesday.

This Patch Tuesday will include a controversially delayed Mac MS Office fix, but won't solve a recently discovered directx flaw for Quicktime files.

Biggest Monthly Update This Year

The monthly update, which will be biggest so far this year, will contain critical fixes for Windows, Internet Explorer, Word and Excel in particular, and Office in general.

In all cases, hackers could gain remote control of an affected computer. The Internet Explorer issue appears particularly serious as it reportedly affects all editions, even the recently released version 8. (Source:

Mac Office Finally Patched

The updates will include a Mac fix for a problem which affected both Windows and Mac editions of Office.

Microsoft issued a Windows fix last month, but announced it did not have a Mac solution ready, which caused some hostility. While Microsoft argued that it was better to protect as many users as possible rather than wait until it could help everyone, critics argued that doing so put Mac users at extra risk by publicizing the unplugged security loophole.

This caused anger among security researchers who say they are pressured by Microsoft to not reveal bugs. Fortunately, on this occasion it doesn't appear as if hackers were able to take advantage and launch successful attacks.

No Quick Fix For QuickTime Bug

Microsoft doesn't yet have a fix for a problem with DirectShow, a system used for handling video and graphics when watching streaming videos (that is, ones users watch online rather than downloading first). The bug involves the way the system handles QuickTime files, a format developed by Apple.

Although there's no Quicktime fix available yet, users can download a tool to work around the problem. This tool prevents computers automatically playing QuickTime movies (and potentially opening a computer up to hackers). Link:

While using this tool, users won't be able to play QuickTime movies on webpages, and will need to either find a different format where available, or download the QuickTime video to their computer and watch in a standalone player. (Source:

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