Feeds

Critical Outlook and Excel bugs star in March Patch Tuesday

Black Tuesday updates focus on MS Office

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Home Depot ignored staff warnings of security fail laundry list
'Just use cash', former security staffer warns friends
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.