Feeds

Microsoft releases fixes for record number of vulns

49 bugs squished

Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft on Tuesday issued updates that plug a total of 49 security holes in Windows, Internet Explorer, and other software, the largest number of bugs ever to be fixed in a single Redmond Patch Tuesday release.

Microsoft classified six of the 49 vulnerabilities as critical, a severity rating that's generally reserved for bugs that allow adversaries to remotely execute malware on a Windows machine with little or no interaction needed by the user. Several other bugs, however, also make it possible to run code of an attacker's choosing, including flaws in the Windows common control library and the Microsoft foundation class library.

Those flaws carried lesser ratings because they can be exploited only when third-party browsers and file-archiving programs are used. Users who fall into these categories may want to give the vulnerabilities a higher severity rating, Microsoft said. What's more, 35 of the flaws could give attackers the means to run malicious code on victim's machines, antivirus provider Symantec said.

Ten of the vulnerabilities reside in IE, with two of them rated as critical. That gives rise to drive-by attacks in which victims are infected by doing nothing more than visiting a booby-trapped website. The elevated threat applies to IE versions 7 and 8 running on Windows Vista and Windows 7 even though those platforms have been designed to lessen the affect of such exploits.

Another update fixes a privilege-escalation vulnerability in Windows XP that was exploited by the Stuxnet worm, which researchers believe may have been unleashed to disrupt Iran's nuclear program. The malware spread by exploiting a total of four previously unpatched Windows vulnerabilities. With Tuesday's release, three of those vulns have been patched and a fourth — which also allows attackers to escalate limited system privileges — will be plugged in a future update, Microsoft said.

The record patch batch from Microsoft came on the same day that Oracle fixed a huge number of bugs in a wide variety of software, including 29 security holes in its Java platform.

According to McAfee, the 49 vulnerabilities fixed on Tuesday shatter a previous record of 34, which was set in October 2009 and then tied in June and August.

Other Microsoft software that's affected includes the .NET foundation and Office. As usual, SANS has a helpful summary of all the updates, which is here. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
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?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
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.