Feeds

Rare critical Word vuln is the star of December Patch Tuesday

Microsoft cheese a bit less swiss this year

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft is planning to release seven bulletins next Tuesday, five of which tackle critical vulnerabilities, as part of its final Patch Tuesday update of 2012.

All currently supported operating systems (including Windows 8 and Windows RT) will need patching. The updates feature critical updates for Redmond's IE 9 and IE 10 browser software, a critical update for Microsoft Word, and critical updates for some of Microsoft's server products (Exchange and Sharepoint).

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, singled out the Word update for particular attention.

"Bulletin 3 is special, as it affects Microsoft Word and is rated critical, which happens very rarely," he said.

"Usually Microsoft downgrades even Remote Code Execution Office vulnerabilities to 'Important', because a user interaction (e.g., opening a malicious file) is required. In this case we assume the 'critical' rating comes from Outlook, which can be configured to use Word to visualise documents in its preview pane. This is an automatic mechanism that does not require user interaction. In any case, this is will be an important bulletin to watch out for."

Microsoft pre-release bulletin can be found here.

Paul Henry, a security analyst patch management firm Lumension, noted that Microsoft has managed to reduce the number of updates it issued this year compared to 2011.

"In 2011, Microsoft had 100 bulletins for the calendar year, of which 34 were critical, 63 important and 3 moderate," Henry said. "In 2012, they reduced the number of bulletins by close to 20 percent, coming in at 83 bulletins for the year, of which 35 were critical, 46 important and 2 moderate. It’s great to see that Microsoft’s Secure Coding Initiative is paying off, reducing the number of vulnerabilities in their software." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.