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Cumulative Patch for IE Fixes Critical Flaws

Microsoft released a cumulative security patch for Internet Explorer on Wednesday that addresses four flaws, including two that Microsoft considers critical risks.

The flaws affect all currently supported versions of Internet Explorer, although all the problems are reduced to a "moderate" severity rating on Windows Server 2003. That operating system runs Internet Explorer 6.0 in a default, locked-down state, which is called Enhanced Security Configuration.

The most serious vulnerability could allow an attacker to take control of a user's machine if the user visited an attacker's Web site or opened an HTML e-mail. Another vulnerability creates a situation where an attacker, who succeeds in luring a user to a Web site, could view information located in the browser cache.

Through the patch, Microsoft also disables an ActiveX control in Internet Explorer that is vulnerable to a buffer overrun attack. Microsoft also changes the way IE renders HTML files to avoid a situation that could cause the browser to crash.

The patch is available at www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-032.asp.

About the Author

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

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