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MS skips March Patch Tuesday

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Microsoft announced on Thursday that doesn't plan to issue any security updates next week in a rare break from its regular monthly Patch Tuesday update cycle.

Redmond will, however, be making its regular monthly update to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and issuing a number of non-security related high-priority updates as normal.

According to eEye, popular versions of Word remain vulnerable to an unpatched vulnerability discovered four weeks ago that might be used to spread malware, so it's not as if there's no need for Microsoft to issue patches.

The lack of patches next month has prompted speculation among the security community (always keen to share a good conspiracy yarn) about the possible causes.

Our favourite theory, passed on by an anonymous source to the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre, is that the absence of updates is the result of the upcoming Sunday switch in some geographies to Daylight Savings (Summer) Time. This new schedule for Daylight Savings Time may affect some software packages. The theory suggests Microsoft might be trying to avoid negative interactions of new patches on Tuesday only a couple of days after the clocks go forward.

Whatever the reason for the mysterious lack of patches: stay alert and keep watching the skies. ®

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