Feeds

Microsoft releases fixes for record number of vulns

49 bugs squished

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
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
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
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.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.