Windows 8, RT: 'Critical' Fixes Coming This Week

Dennis Faas's picture

Windows 8 and Windows RT will get their first security fixes this Patch Tuesday, November 13, 2012. For Windows 8, three of the fixes have been marked "critical," Microsoft's highest security rating.

The fixes address zero-day vulnerabilities reported by security firm Vupen last week. Vupen recently announced it had found "multiple vulnerabilities" in Windows 8 and also in Microsoft's newest web browser, Internet Explorer 10.

Remote Code Flaws Found in Windows 8

The "critical" fixes will address remote code execution vulnerabilities that, theoretically, could allow a hacker to install malware and execute system functions secretly on a victim's computer. (Source:

These fixes affect both 32- and 64-bit versions of the new Windows 8 operating system and also the slimmed-down version of Windows 8 known as Windows RT.

Scary as these threats may seem, security experts have already expressed their belief that hackers will be unlikely to exploit these particular flaws. For his part, Bitdefender security expert Alex Balan is not alarmed by these early problems.

"As with any software, things are found to be vulnerable at one point or another," Balan said.

"Holes are always going to be found that will allow someone to lower the security barriers. One way or the other, vulnerabilities will be exposed, and they will be exploited," Balan added. (Source:

Microsoft has not yet commented on either the operating system's vulnerabilities or on Vupen's report exposing them.

Surprisingly, Internet Explorer 10 is not receiving a fix. This indicates that Microsoft was unprepared for Vupen's report, or that the software giant believes hackers won't be able to exploit the flaws. (Source:

Fixes Also Coming for Windows 7, Office

Security updates for Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server (versions 2003-2012) will also be made available this Tuesday.

Reports indicate that "important" fixes will also be released for Microsoft's Office software. Versions of Office for both Windows and Mac platforms are due for repair.

So far, Microsoft has not provided any specific information about either the nature of these fixes or the reasons for them.

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