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MS inadvertently offers early peep at September patches

Kimono hastily snatched closed again 'til Tuesday

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Microsoft inadvertently published details of the patches it plans to publish on Tuesday following a slip-up by its security gnomes last week.

Patch Tuesday pre-alerts normally reveal little more than the applications Microsoft intends to update and the severity of the vulnerabilities addressed. However this month the software giant leaked details of the security holes it plans to close: five fairly run-of-the-mill updates that affect Office and Windows and have a maximum severity rating of "important".

Vulnerability management experts and Microsoft are downplaying the significance of the leak.

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of security outfit Qualys, commented: "While the information is interesting and certainly helpful for us (it makes life somewhat easier for our QA lab) I don't believe there is any heightened security risk with the early exposure."

"If the patches (i.e. the binaries) themselves had been revealed then indeed it would give attackers a 4-day head start," he added.

Microsoft Security Response admitted the problem on its Twitter feed on Saturday, adding that it had deleted the text. "Some of you may have seen an early peek at Tuesday’s draft bulletin text, we’ve since removed the content," it said. "Stay tuned for Tuesday." ®

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