Feeds

MS preps five critical fixes for busy Patch Tuesday

ATL clean-up

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Microsoft is lining up nine updates - five critical - for the August edition of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.

Eight of the nine patches plug vulnerabilities in Windows while the final update fixes a critical flaw in Microsoft Office (as well as Visual Studio, Microsoft ISA Server and Microsoft BizTalk Server).

Microsoft's pre-alert is light on details, as is the norm, but does explain that one of the critical Windows fixes will plug vulnerabilities in Outlook Express and Windows Media Player.

One of the critical flaws affects Microsoft's Client for Mac as well as Windows. All flavours of Windows - including servers and Vista - will need patching.

Last week Microsoft released an out-of-sequence patch that fixes a critical Internet Explorer flaw that was being actively exploited by hackers. At the same time Redmond also released a critical update for its Visual Studio development tools suite.

Both the two security problems stem from a fundamental flaw in Microsoft's ATL, or Active Template Library, which developers across the industry use to write application components (or more specifically Component Object Model code, including ActiveX controls). The flaw comes from a programming error involving an extra "&" character in a line of code. This, in turn, creates a buffer overflow risk for any applications that make use of the ATL code library.

Informed guesswork suggests that most of August's fixes will address flaws that can ultimately be traced back to the ATL snafu but were not as urgent as the MSVidCtl ActiveX control flaw that prompted an out of sequence IE patch last month.

The MSVidCtl ActiveX control flaw was been actively targeted by hackers and unpatched, the worst possible scenario. The only remaining zero-day vulnerabilities in this category is a flaw in Microsoft Office Web Components (OWC) which emerged a day after Microsoft's July Patch Tuesday update was published. Microsoft's pre-alert suggests that this flaw will be patched next week but this is by no means certain. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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
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.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.