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Five critical updates mark MS Patch Tuesday

Overtime for sysadmins looms

Top three mobile application threats

Microsoft has released seven security updates, five of which it describes as critical, as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.

Of particular note is a security update for the DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol) Client for Windows (MS06-036), which creates a means for hackers to send maliciously crafted spoofed DHCP responses in an attempt to seize control of vulnerable machines provided they can gain access to a targeted LAN.

Business users also need to be wary of a vulnerability in server service that could allow remote code execution (MS06-035). The three earlier critical security updates involve various fixes to Microsoft Office.

"IT administrators should prioritise these two critical patches in particular [MS06-035 and MS06-036] which impact every Windows-based machine - both servers and desktops," said Alan Bentley, UK managing director of security patching specialist PatchLink.

"The patches fix a vulnerability that can enable remote execution and spell trouble for IT administrators. If organisations do not deploy the patches in a timely fashion, a hacker could send malicious packets that take over the system and allow access to sensitive data.

"Patch Tuesday comes too soon for organisations still coping with the impact of 13 security bulletins from last month. As soon as the patches are released, organisations are recommended to test the patches in their environment and rapidly deploy them, starting with the critical ones, using industry best practice guidelines," he added.

US-CERT has published a summary of these updates here. Microsoft's overview can be found here. ®

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