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Microsoft warns of RDP attack within next 30 days

Mozilla stalls own update because of Patch Tuesday

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Microsoft has released six updates in this month's patch Tuesday, including one critical hole that Redmond warns will be hit in the next 30 days.

The critical flaw covers all versions of Windows and is found in the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It allows attackers to run code remotely behind the firewall, although Vista users and above can activate the Remote Desktop’s Network Level Authentication (NLA) to trigger an authentication request. RDP is disabled by default, but is often activated.

"We are not aware of any attacks in the wild. However, due to the attractiveness of this vulnerability to attackers, we anticipate that an exploit for code execution will be developed in the next 30 days," said the Microsoft security research center blog.

Of Microsoft's other patches, four are deemed important. Expression Design has a DLL preloading issue fixed and Visual Studio's add-on handling gets an add-on issue resolved, while the kernel and DNS systems also get a patch. There's also a low priority fix for DirectWrite.

The release caused some problems for Mozilla, which had also been planning an update. It said that the issue it was concerned about in Microsoft's patches turned out to be something Mozilla had already fixed, but that it was only making updates available manually for the time being as a precaution.

"In order to understand the impacts of Microsoft’s “Patch Tuesday” fixes, we will initially release Firefox for manual updates only. Once those impacts are understood, we’ll push automatic updates out to all of our users," said Johnathan Nightingale, senior director of Firefox engineering on the browser's blog. ®

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