Security Advisor

Small June Patch Tuesday Only Has One 'Critical' IE Fix

In what is one of the lighter patching months this year, Microsoft is prepping its June security update that will feature only one bulletin item rated "critical" -- a fix for all versions of Internet Explorer.

And because there's only one item rated the highest severity Microsoft has, IT has no excuse for jumping on this as soon as it's released next week.

"If left unpatched, this vulnerability can cause RCE (remote code execution) which implies that an attacker can take control of the victim computer if the victim browses to a malformed Web site using Internet Explorer (IE)," said Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, Inc, in an e-mailed statement.  "Since the browser is a window to the Internet, IE users should apply this RCE patch as soon as it is released."

Along with the Internet Explorer fix, Microsoft is also sending along four "important" bulletins. Three of the four will take care of information disclosure, denial of service and elevation of privilege flaws in Windows and the fourth will handle an RCE hole in Office.

Even though the Office flaw is only rated important, it should still be high priority for IT and tackled as soon as the IE item is applied, according to Paul Henry, security analyst at Lumension.

"Though this is ranked important, it's your second priority because there have been limited attacks using this vulnerability in the wild," said Henry. "Though it's not considered to be publicly known, it is being actively exploited to some extent, so be sure to patch it immediately. It can be exploited through the distribution of a malicious file, which hopefully your users know better than to click on."

As always, to keep would-be attackers in the dark, specific details won't be released until the patch is out (typically by 10 a.m. PST on Tuesday).

Looking at the tally board at the halfway point of the year, June's security update featuring five items will bring Microsoft's bulletin number total to 51 -- eight more than Microsoft had at this point last year.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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