Feeds

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

'Exploitability Index' debuts

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.