Feeds

Seven critical in MS October patch batch

Already included in Win XP SP2, says Redmond

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft yesterday released 10 new security bulletins to fix multiple components in its Windows operating system and applications.

Redmond's October patch batch brings nine security updates (six critical, three important) for Windows and one critical update needed to correct a flaw in the Excel component of Office. Two of the Windows fixes cover critical vulns for Exchange Server 2003. In addition, there's an update to last month's notice about a serious flaw involving Microsoft's processing of jpeg image files, which only affects Office XP applications for users running Windows XP SP2.

Consumers would be forgiven for being confused with such a confusing plethora of security vulns. Redmond's answer is simple - use Win XP SP2.

"All of the critical updates in this month’s release are already included in Windows XP Service Pack 2. Customers running Windows XP SP2 who have enabled Automatic Updates will automatically receive the sole update that applies [a cumulative patch for IE, MS04-038]. Customers are encouraged to simply turn on the Automatic Updates feature in Windows XP," Microsoft said.

This month’s updates cover the aforementioned set of seven flaws in Internet Explorer, described by Secunia as extremely critical, as well as four Windows client vulns (MS04-032).

Sys admins also have to contend with a network-based remote compromise vulnerability involving SMTP (mail) service that affects Exchange as well as other Microsoft apps (MS04-035) and a separate serious flaw involving Microsoft's implementation of Network News Transfer Protocol (NTTP) service ((MS04-031). A vulnerability has been discovered in ASP.NET which may allow an attacker to bypass authentication mechanisms and access restricted resources. A flaw involving the way Microsoft's software handles compressed folders (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms04-034.mspx) has also been unearthed and patched.

All manner of mischief might be enabled through Microsoft's latest vulns, security tools vendor ISS warns. Confidential data might be snaffled from vulnerable PCs. Denial of service attacks are also possible. Alternatively, malicious code could be used to exploit the vulnerabilities and gain complete control over targeted systems.

"The network-based remote vulnerabilities could be exploited without any user-interaction, while the client-side vulnerabilities require minimal user-interaction for exploitation," ISS warns. A complete list of Microsoft's security bulletins can be found here. ®

Related stories

Microsoft warns of poisoned picture peril
MS plugs 'moderate' Exchange vuln
MS hatches July patch batch
WinXP SP2 = security placebo?
XP SP2 über patch already needs fixing

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.