Feeds

Microsoft releases fixes for record number of vulns

49 bugs squished

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.