News

Light Microsoft Patch Expected Tuesday, Despite Threats

Microsoft plans to start the year with a light count of just two security bulletins in its January patch, according to an advance notice.

This month's security update, arriving Tuesday, will include only one "critical" item and one "important" item. Both security bulletins will address remote code execution risk considerations for Windows-based machines.

The critical item will affect every supported Windows operating system, while the important item will touch Windows Vista.

Security experts say it remains unclear what exactly will be addressed in this month's patch slate due to a handful of advisories and proof-of-concept threats under consideration. Moreover, the first security advisory of the year has already been published, which arrived last Tuesday. It describes a publicly disclosed vulnerability affecting the Windows graphics rendering engine for Windows XP, Vista and Windows Server 2003.

If this advance notice is any indication, new security issues with Internet Explorer won't be addressed this month.

"With only two bulletins this month, the big shock this month is that Microsoft is not addressing two security advisories that have already been weaponized," said Rapid7 Security Researcher Josh Abraham. "Microsoft has said they are going to 'continue to watch the threat landscape very closely.' However, I would bet that if the malicious attackers start using the exploits, then we will see an out-of-band patch."

The two security fixes to come may require restarts after installation.

For information about nonsecurity releases delivered through Windows Update and Microsoft Update, IT pros can take a look at this Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

Featured

  • Microsoft's February Security Patches Bring Lots of Problems

    Microsoft's February security updates came with plenty of technical bumps.

  • Study Finds IT Inadequacies in Key and Certificate Management

    Mismanaged security certificates have resulted in "unplanned downtime and outages," per 73 percent of respondents in a recently published Ponemon Institute study, which polled IT security personnel.

  • Office 365 Safe Documents and Application Guard Previews Announced

    Microsoft on Wednesday announced previews of two new Office document security protections for Office 365 E5 subscribers that aim to block malicious payloads.

  • Monitoring Hyper-V with Microsoft's Best Practices Analyzer

    Natively integrated into Windows Server, the Best Practices Analyzer is a key tool for assessing how much (or how little) your Hyper-V configurations align with Microsoft's recommendations.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.