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Special Bulletin Released for IE Flaws

Microsoft broke from usual practice on Friday in sending out a critical security bulletin correcting critical flaws in Internet Explorer that allow an attacker to take control of a user's computer. Microsoft normally holds security bulletins until Wednesday, but the company occasionally sends them out on other days of the week when a problem is especially serious.

A cumulative patch included with the security bulletin fixes two new flaws as well as all previous flaws. Both of the new flaws are critical in IE 5.01 Service Packs 3 and 4, IE 5.5 SP2, IE 6.0 and IE 6.0 SP1. The flaws are rated moderate in IE 6.0 in Windows Server 2003, which runs IE under Enhanced Security Configuration by default.

One of the vulnerabilities involves popup windows and occurs because IE fails to properly determine an object type returned from a Web server in a popup window. The other new vulnerability occurs because IE doesn't properly determine object types returned from a Web server during XML data binding.

The bulletin is available here: www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms03-040.asp.

About the Author

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

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