Feeds

Microsoft to issue emergency patches Tuesday

Relief for what ails IE, Visual Studio

Website security in corporate America

Microsoft plans to issue two emergency patches next week that fix vulnerabilities in the Internet Explorer browser and Visual Studio developer suite that allow attackers to remotely execute malware.

The patches, which will be delivered on Tuesday, will be only the third time Microsoft has issued an out-of-band security patch in the past 25 months. That suggests the updates are serious enough to warrant the extra fuss. Typically, the company issues patches on the second Tuesday of each month to allow administrators time to plan for and test the updates.

In an advanced notice published late Friday, the company gave few details about the vulnerability. The patch for IE is rated "critical," the highest severity designation on Microsoft's four-notch scale. The update for Visual Studio is rated one notch lower, at "important." Both fixes will require machines to be rebooted.

"While this release is to address a single, overall issue, in order to provide the broadest protections possible to customers, we’ll be releasing two separate security bulletins," a Microsoft spokesman said in a statement.

It went on to say: "While we can’t go into specifics about the issue prior to release, we can say that the Visual Studio bulletin will address an issue that can affect certain types of applications. The Internet Explorer bulletin will provide defense-in-depth changes to Internet Explorer to help provide additional protections for the issues addressed by the Visual Studio bulletin. The Internet Explorer update will also address vulnerabilities rated as Critical that are unrelated to the Visual Studio bulletin that were privately and responsibly reported."

Earlier this week, Brian Krebs's Security Fix blog reported Microsoft intended to issue an out-of-band patch that was related to a vulnerability designated MS09-032, which Microsoft fixed 10 days ago. The report said an additional patch may be needed because the first one repaired only a subset of the vulnerable code.

Attacks targeting MS09-032 have been underway since early this month. People who have installed the patch for that vulnerability remain protected from those attacks, Microsoft's statement said.

The underlying bug was discovered by researchers Ryan Smith and Alex Wheeler and reported to Microsoft in April or May of 2008. <strke>On the same day The day after Microsoft plans to issue the emergency fix, Smith and two other researchers plan to deliver this talk at the Black Hat security conference detailing "a nuanced and precarious trust layer between" components in technologies including javascript, .NET, and browser plugins."

A preview of the talk is available here. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
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
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.