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Monthly fix number two

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Microsoft yesterday released a set of four security patches in its second stab at releasing security fixes once a month.

A cumulative patch for Internet Explorer, a fix for a buffer overflow vulnerability in components of Microsoft's FrontPage Server and a patch for a flaw with Workstation Service that could crackers to inject code on vulnerable systems are all deemed critical by Redmond. A fix for a flaw in Microsoft Word and that could allow arbitrary Code to run is given the lower category of "important".

A buffer overflow vulnerability in the Microsoft Workstation service represents the most serious risk. Workstation service is responsible for handling remote connections between computers and network resources such as fileservers or networked printers and is enabled by default on vulnerable platforms (windows 2000 - SP2 and later - and XP).

Security tools vendor ISS warns that "vulnerability is a standard stack overflow, and therefore it may be relatively easy to exploit".

"Exploits written to take advantage of standard stack overflows are generally very robust, and are good candidates for use in the creation of Internet worms," it warns.

According to Network Associates, the vulns covered by the four patches "range in scope from allowing arbitrary code to be run on a users machine (all of them)... to a buffer overrun vulnerability in FrontPage Server Extension and another vulnerability in the SmartHTML Interpreter could lead to denial of service on the server running FrontPage Extension."

All the more reason then to apply Microsoft's security fixes, a summary of which can be found here and here. ®

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