Microsoft Issues 4 New Security Bulletins

Microsoft Corp. unleashed a barrage of three critical security alerts to its Security Bulletin subscribers on Thursday night. Microsoft also warned users late Wednesday of a moderate vulnerability in SQL Server.

The critical vulnerability bulletins address problems in Commerce Server, Microsoft XML Core Services and Internet Explorer.

Commerce Server

An unchecked buffer in Commerce Server can allow an attacker to run code of her choice on the affected Web server, creating a critical vulnerability for Internet and intranet servers running Microsoft's e-commerce server.

The vulnerability involves an interaction between Commerce Server and IIS, although Microsoft assures customers that the problem does not extend to IIS servers running without Commerce Server.

The bulletin is available here:

Microsoft XML Core Services

Microsoft XML Core Services (MSXML) are included in SQL Server 2000, Internet Explorer 6.0 and Windows XP. MSXML has also been available for separate download on other Microsoft products.

The vulnerability involves an MSXML-related ActiveX control called XMLHTTP. The greatest risk from this vulnerability is to a client system. By enticing a user to visit a specially created Web page, an attacker can access information on the client system.

The bulletin is available here:

Internet Explorer

A flaw in the way Internet Explorer handles Visual Basic scripts with regard to frames enables an information disclosure vulnerability. As with the Microsoft XML Core Services vulnerability, this one requires an attacker to lure a user to a specially written Web site.

The bulletin is available here:

SQL Server

A less serious vulnerability affects SQL Server. Its effects would be serious -- running code of an attacker's choice. But it is apparently a more difficult attack to conduct than the Commerce Server attack.

The vulnerability involves an unchecked buffer in the handling of connections to seldom-used external data sources.

The bulletin is available here:

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


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