Feeds

Microsoft to send users 4 critical patches on Valentine's Day

Sealed with an XSS

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft plans to publish nine updates next Tuesday – four of which are critical – as part of a Valentine's Day edition of its Patch Tuesday update cycle.

Highlights of the batch, which collectively address 21 vulnerabilities, include a critical update for Internet Explorer.

There are also two critical fixes for Windows itself, plus one for Microsoft's .NET framework. Three the five remaining "important" fixes grapple with remote code execution-type vulnerabilities, one of which involves Office. Flaws of this type are best addressed sooner rather than later because they might easily be exploited by malware slingers.

Patching IE ought to be be the highest priority, according to vulnerability scanning and web services firm Qualys.

"[W]e saw last month how quickly attackers are incorporating browser-based attacks into their toolkits; an exploit for MS12-004 was detected a mere 15 days after Patch Tuesday," notes Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, in a blog post on the upcoming patch batch.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at net security firm nCircle, said all supported versions of Windows will need patching. Oddly the most recent versions of Windows – which normally need the least patching – are the most affected by the February 2012 patch batch, he added.

"Microsoft is planning to deliver a big 'Valentine' next Tuesday. Their advance notification indicated they plan to release nine bulletins, and 21 CVEs next Tuesday. This is very consistent with last year's 'Valentine delivery' that included 12 bulletins and 22 CVEs."

"It's surprising that this month's patch affects almost every Windows operating system – each OS is affected by five of the eight applicable bulletins. That's kind of weird because newer OS versions are generally more secure."

"It's even more surprising that Windows Server 2008 R2 is affected by the greatest number of bulletins. Generally, we see fewer bugs on server side operating systems, and this is doubly true for Server 2008 since so many of its newer mitigations and default settings protect the OS even when bugs are found," he added.

Microsoft's own pre-alert notice can be found here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Apple grapple: Congress kills FBI's Cupertino crypto kybosh plan
Encryption would lead us all into a 'dark place', claim G-Men
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

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.