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Patch Tuesday Cracks Open a Sixer

Coat your stomach because tomorrow you'll be expected to digest a six pack of patches. Four of these will be the potent "critical" variety (which are always a bit tough to swallow), while the other two are a bit of the smoother "important" blend.

If this sounds familiar, it's because you also poured down a sixer last month. We're not sure if this is a coincidence, or if the wild swings in the number of patches are over. My guess? A coincidence.

So what are we looking at? As usual, remote code execution (RCE) is the big bugaboo (at first I wrote bug bigaboo but Word, as usual, knew better). Critical RCE vulnerabilities impact IE, .NET, Office, SQL Server and Windows. Somehow Flight Simulator came out unscathed.

On the important flaw side, there is another RCE flaw for Office and an "information disclosure flaw" in Forefront United Access Gateway. I love it when security products get patched. It seems ironic -- but heck, it's just software.

Jeff Schwartz, Redmond's executive editor,  just wrapped up a look at the Trustworthy Computing initiative, now ten years old. To my mind, one of the biggest security successes is Patch Tuesday, an open and regular approach to fixing flaws in Microsoft's growing software family.

I'm a big fan of Patch Tuesday. Tell me where I'm right or wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 04/09/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 ibsteve2u Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

I hate Patch Tuesday...especially every Patch Tuesday including a "restart required". I've got a range of systems running World Community Grid/Clean Energy Project calculations, and they don't checkpoint "on command". Restart = wasted computational time and wasted electricity, minimum, plus the introduction of additional risk as there isn't anything (in my experience) like running multicore, hyperthreading CPUs at 100% loading across all cores/threads to reveal newly-introduced "quirks" that affect hardware I/O to the display, RAID sets, etc. Even running a WSUS server to give me a semblance of control over Win7 updating doesn't completely and dependably alleviate the heartburn of "Your computer was automatically restarted..." should I somehow miss that horrible pronouncement of impending doom: "It's Patch Tuesday!".

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