Security Experts:

Microsoft to Release Critical IE Patch Next Week

Microsoft plans to release five security bulletins next week for this month's Patch Tuesday, including a fix for a security vulnerability used in attacks against Internet Explorer 10.

That vulnerability, which was described in Security Advisory 2934088, was spotted being used in watering hole attacks during the past few weeks. The bug also affects Internet Explorer 9, and could be exploited if the victim is tricked into visiting a compromised Website. Customers using other versions of IE are not impacted, Microsoft noted.

In addition to the IE bulletin, Microsoft will release one other critical bulletin for Windows. The other three bulletins are rated 'important' and affect Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Silverlight.

"The March patch list is small, with only five bulletins, but they are certainly significant," said Ken Pickering, director of engineering at CORE Security. "There are two bulletins listed as 'critical' with remote code executions, one on Internet Explorer and one on a series of Windows versions. These types of bulletins need immediate attention and a reboot, which is always a headache for IT teams. Bulletin 5 only affects Silverlight, and aside from using it to stream House of Cards on Netflix, doesn’t have a big impact."

"Windows XP is affected by all five updates, and there is really no reason to expect this picture to change; Windows XP will continue to be impacted by the majority of vulnerabilities found in the Windows ecosystem, but you will not be able to address the issues anymore," blogged Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys. "Windows XP is getting its penultimate update and is now very close (just over 30 days) to its declared end-of-life date...so you need a strategy for the XP machines remaining in your infrastructure."

The Patch Tuesday updates will be released March 11.

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