Next Patch Tuesday: Major Windows Update, Fixes 25 Bugs
This month's security updates from Microsoft will cover every currently supported edition of Windows. That means home users should check carefully if they don't have automatic updates switched on, while businesses will need to plan how they will apply the patches.
As happens on the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft will release its Patch Tuesday security fix for issues affecting the Windows operating system (OS). This month, though, there was an exception: an emergency patch released on March 30th for a serious security flaw in Internet Explorer versions 6 and 7. At the time, several other issues affecting IE version 8 were also patched to relieve the load for next week's update.
It's now clear why Microsoft did this: even without those patches, the coming update will be dense. It contains 11 patches, five ranked critical, covering a total of 25 bug fixes. (Source: microsoft.com)
Five-Month Old Loophole Finally Plugged
Of the critical patches, five affect all current versions of Windows, including Vista and Windows 7. It's not yet been revealed exactly which security issues these deal with. It's believed one of these issues is a problem with Server Message Block, a system used for file and printer sharing. That's been known about since November, so a fix is long overdue.
There's a good chance the other Windows-wide fixes may be bugs that aren't publicly known and that Microsoft wants to increase the chances of getting the patches in place before hackers are able to try taking advantage.
One problem which is already publicly known and looks set to be solved by this update is a bug in VBScript, a Windows component, which could be exploited via Internet Explorer on older editions of Windows. This led to a warning by Microsoft not to follow rogue website demands to press the F1 key.
Microsoft Publisher And Visio Both At Risk
There are also fixes for issues with the 2002, 2003 and 2007 editions of both Publisher and Visio from the Office suite.
The sheer number of fixes this month, plus the fact that some affect all editions of Windows, means that businesses with corporate networks may face a logistical headache with the installation process. This is exacerbated by the fact that four of the fixes for critical issues require computers to be restarted, which can be particularly disruptive in a corporate setting. (Source: sci-tech-today.com)
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