Feeds

Critical Outlook and Excel bugs star in March Patch Tuesday

Black Tuesday updates focus on MS Office

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft released four updates on Tuesday as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.

The quartet of updates - all critical - concentrates on Microsoft Office and addresses 12 distinct vulnerabilities. The most pressing of these (MS08-014) covers patches for Excel against vulnerabilities that have become the focus of recent hacker attacks. Updates to all supported versions of Outlook also merit close attention.

The other two advisories cover vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office and Microsoft Office Web Components.

"Because all four of the patches affect Microsoft Office, these patches cannot be ignored or delayed. The broad install base of Microsoft Office makes Office vulnerabilities an enticing target for hackers and cyber criminals," said Alan Bentley, VP in EMEA of patching specialist Lumension.

Bentley added that updating vulnerable Outlook installations ought to be a priority for sys admins. The update to Outlook covers a vulnerability in parsing of "mailto:" URIs that allows malware to be injected onto targeted systems.

"Microsoft Outlook is the dominant email client in use today, and email is also one of the most common attack vehicles used by hackers against organisations. This makes MS08-015 a critical, remote-code-execution vulnerability which affects virtually all versions of Outlook, the biggest priority for IT administrators this Patch Tuesday," he added.

Microsoft's summary of its March patch batch can be found here.

As usual, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre (ISC) has published an easy to understand graphical overview here. ISC notes that only the Excel bugs have become the target of hacking attack, making them the highest patching priority.

Symantec, by contrast, reckons the advisory to Microsoft Office Web Components is potentially the worst of the bunch.

Given this divergence of opinion, the safest option would be to apply all four critical updates sooner rather than later. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.