Feeds

Microsoft updates squash four critical bugs

Patch Tuesday calls for Windows and Office disinfectant

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Microsoft on Tuesday issued updates to plug a half-dozen security holes, four of which were rated critical.

The most serious is a bug in Microsoft's Jet Database Engine, a component built into Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 that works with Visual Basic, Access and multiple third-party applications. Attack code for the vulnerability went public in November, and it is actively being exploited in the wild. We've already installed this one, and if you care about security, you will too. Boo-yah!

The other critical vulnerabilities live in a wide variety of Microsoft Office versions, including versions 2000, 2003, XP, 2007 and 2004 and 2008 for Mac. One vulnerability involved the way Office handles Rich Text Format documents and another involved cascading style sheets, both of which could be used to take complete control of vulnerable machines.

The third Office vulnerability involved the Publisher component, and could allow an attacker to commandeer a machine by tricking the user into opening a maliciously crafted publisher document.

Microsoft also patched two security bugs, which it rated moderate, in its malware protection engine. The program, which is included in Windows Live OneCare and Microsoft Forefront, can lock up when encountering specially crafted files, allowing miscreants to carry out denial of service attacks.

For the time being, we are forgoing the installation of Service Pack three, following reports that its installation results in an endless reboot process. While complaints have probably been overblown, we think it's prudent to wait, given the non-critical nature of the update.

Microsoft's bulletin summary is here, but we prefer the overview provided by Sans, which is easier to follow. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
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?
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.