Feeds

Microsoft's Patch Tuesday plugs critical holes in IE, Office

'Exploitability Index' debuts

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft on Tuesday issued updates plugging at least 20 security holes in Windows, Office, and other products. They came as miscreants sent out phony emails urging people to download malware that masqueraded as critical Windows alerts.

Among the critical bugs squashed were several hiding in Version 6 of the Internet Explorer browser when running on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The vulnerabilities could allow attackers to remotely install malware on a machine with no interaction required from the user or to intercept data while in transit. IE 7 and IE 6 running on Vista are also vulnerable but to lesser degree, Microsoft said.

Another batch of vulnerabilities affect the Excel spreadsheet program in Microsoft Office. The remote execution bug is rated critical for users of Office 2003 and important for more recent versions. Another critical vulnerability affected IE killbits in third-party applications.

As always, SANS has a highly readable summary of the offerings, which is available here.

This was the first Patch Tuesday in which Microsoft offered increased information about the likelihood of vulnerabilities actually being exploited. The company said here (click on the "Exploitability Index" link) exploit code for a bug in Windows internet printing service is already circulating. In all, eight vulnerabilities were carried a warning that "consistent exploit code" was likely.

The updates came as miscreants blasted out spam that purported to a new "experimental private version of an update for all Microsoft Windows OS users." It attempted to trick people into clicking on a program that installs a trojan known as Win32/Haxdoor, which logs passwords and other sensitive information typed on a PC and sends this data back to the attackers.

Microsoft never uses email to send patches. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.