News

Microsoft Readies 5 'Critical' Updates for December

Microsoft will be finishing off 2012 with a monthly security update that addresses 11 vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Exchange Server, Office and Windows.

This months patch will feature five bulletins rated "critical" (highest severity warning) and two rated "important," (second-highest severity warning) according to Microsoft's Security Bulletin Advance Notification. Six of the seven items in Microsoft's patch rollout will address remote code execution (RCE) flaws.

Marcus Carey, security researcher at Rapid7, advises that IT prioritizes bulletin 1, a fix for Internet Explorer, first.

"Since it is a browser vulnerability this should be the first of the patch triage list, as a victim could be compromised by visiting a malicious site via drive-by attack," said Carey in an e-mailed statement. "With this update, Microsoft will also harden IE 6, IE 7 and IE 8, even though they aren't vulnerable to these vulnerabilities. The vulnerabilities only exist in IE 9 and IE 10."

The remaining four critical items will focus on multiple flaws in Windows, Office and Microsoft Server Software. While Windows and Microsoft Server Software are no strangers to receiving critical updates, Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of security firm Qualys, Inc., points out that Office receiving a critical update is somewhat of a rare occurrence.

"Usually Microsoft downgrades even Remote Code Execution Office vulnerabilities to 'Important,' because a user interaction (e.g., opening a malicious file) is required. In this case we assume the 'critical' rating comes from Outlook, which can be configured to use Word to visualize documents in its preview pan," said Kandek in a blog post. "This is an automatic mechanism that does not require user interaction. In any case, this is will be an important bulletin to watch out for."

Look for more information on the specific nature of the fixes to arrive with Microsoft's patch release on Tuesday morning.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

Featured

  • Office Mobile Apps To End as Microsoft Highlights New Office App

    Microsoft plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile applications on Jan. 12, 2021, according to a Friday announcement.

  • Is Microsoft Finally Reinventing Office?

    Microsoft is testing out a new technology called "Fluid Framework." It could mean that Brien's dream of one Office app to rule them all might soon become reality.

  • Azure Active Directory Connect Preview Adds Support for Disconnected AD Forests

    Microsoft on Thursday announced a preview of a new "Cloud Provisioning" feature for the Azure Active Directory Connect service that promises to bring together scattered Active Directory "forests."

  • Microsoft Defender ATP Gets macOS Investigation Support

    The endpoint and detection response (EDR) feature in Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) has reached the "general availability" stage for macOS devices.

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.