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Microsoft Releases 5 Security Bulletins

Microsoft on Tuesday released five security bulletins as promised. All five addressed vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker to take complete control of an affected system. Three of the bulletins were rated critical, and one addressed a high-profile, zero-day exploit in Internet Explorer.

The most anticipated of the bulletins is MS06-013, a cumulative update for Internet Explorer. That critical bulletin addressed a flaw that Microsoft named the "DHTML Method Call Memory Corruption Vulnerability." Code taking advantage of the flaw popped up all over the Web weeks in advance of Microsoft's patch. Microsoft considered, but rejected, releasing the patch before today's regular monthly patching event. The flaw is rated critical for Internet Explorer 5.0 Service Pack 4, IE 6.0 SP1 (except on Windows Server 2003) and IE for Windows XP SP2.

But that fix is only one of 10 new vulnerabilities that are fixed in the cumulative IE patch -- and eight of the fixes are for critical problems. Meanwhile, the patch also includes a non-security update to ActiveX resulting from Eolas Technologies' patent dispute with Microsoft.

The other two critical bulletins address a vulnerability in the Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) Function (MS06-014) and a vulnerability in Windows Explorer (MS06-015).

A cumulative update bulletin for Outlook Express (MS06-016) fixes a problem rated "important" on the Microsoft threat scale; while a cross-site scripting flaw in Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions prompted a bulletin (MS06-017) with a "moderate" severity rating.

About the Author

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

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