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Microsoft Readies Critical Bulletins for Patch Tuesday

Microsoft is planning to release seven security bulletins next week as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft is planning to release seven security bulletins next week as part of this month’s Patch Tuesday.

Four of the seven bulletins are rated ‘Critical’, while three others are classified as ‘Important’. The critical bulletins address vulnerabilities in Microsoft Silverlight, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Server Software. The remaining bulletins are aimed at issues in Microsoft Windows and Office.

“The Microsoft March 2013 security bulletin advance notice is indicating a slightly lighter patching urgency than recent months,” said Ross Barrett, security manager of security engineering at Rapid7.

“Technically four are listed as “Critical”, but only the first one which applies to all supported versions of Internet Explorer (6-10) seems likely to be an immediate threat to the average user,” he said. “Interesting to note, bulletin 1 does not list IE 10 on Windows 7 as vulnerable, this may be an omission, or it may be that the fix was included when IE 10 was released for Windows 7 systems last week. Regardless, this is where I would prioritize my patching efforts.”

“Preventing future drive-by style attacks and protecting end-users appear to be the theme of this month’s Patch Tuesday,” said Alex Horan, senior product manager, CORE Security. “Bulletin number one represents the significance of this update as the Remote Code Execution can be used to target and exploit end-users across all versions of Internet Explorer on Windows desktops.”

Three of the four critical bulletins address remote code execution issues, while bulletin four – which deals with Microsoft Office and Server Software – deals with escalation of privileges. While it is not a remote code execution situation, the fact that bulletin four is listed as critical indicates it may be getting exploited in the wild, Barrett said.

“The focus has changed direction from last month, where Office wasn’t addressed, to four of seven advisories this month relating to Office,” he said.

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Patch Tuesday is scheduled for March 12. 

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