July Patch Tuesday: Major Fixes for Windows, Office

Dennis Faas's picture

Tomorrow is the second Tuesday of the month, which means it's Microsoft Patch Tuesday.

This month's patches address 22 software vulnerabilities and are associated with four security updates that address flaws in Microsoft Windows and Visio 2003. Without applying the patches, PCs remain vulnerable to attacks. Only one of the security updates has been marked "critical."

So far, this is the third-most number of fixes offered in a single month for 2011. The number of fixes this month (22) is behind 34 patches issued in June and the record-breaking 64 vulnerabilities addressed in April.

Bugs-Per-Bulletin Ratio Highest This Year

The one area where July's patch set stands apart is in the bugs-per-bulletin ratio, which is the highest this year. Security expert Andrew Storms believes this will mean Microsoft's release of a 'superpatch' to address a lot of issues all at once.

"I think we'll see one bulletin with a very high number of vulnerabilities," said Storms, nCircle Security's director of security operations. "We've seen that happen several times this year, most recently last month when it patched eight bugs in Excel with one update." (Source: pcworld.com)

Three out of the four security bulletins associated with this Patch Tuesday address problems with Windows, while one is related to flaws in Office's Visio program.

Patch Process Time-Consuming, Requires Restart

Although the size of this Patch Tuesday is by no means the year's largest, Lumension security and forensic analyst Paul Henry says it could prove time-consuming.

"The reality is that it will be rather disruptive, as all the patches impact Windows and Office and require a restart," Henry said. (Source: fiercecio.com)

Office XP, Vista SP1: No More Security Updates

Microsoft announced July 5th that the company will retire Office XP and Windows Vista Service Pack 1, starting July 12th this year. After tomorrow's patch release, Microsoft is said to put and end to issuing security updates for the productivity suite from 2001 and Vista Service Pack 1. (Source: eweek.com)

Microsoft's batch of patches will be released tomorrow (Tuesday) at 1pm, Eastern Standard Time (EST).

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