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Microsoft Releases Security Update for Flash Player Libraries

While most of this month’s security updates have been postponed to March 14, Microsoft has decided to release one bulletin to address the Flash Player vulnerabilities fixed by Adobe on Patch Tuesday.

The critical bulletin, MS17-005, resolves 13 vulnerabilities in the Flash Player libraries used by Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11 and Edge.

The patches, obtainable via Windows Update and the Microsoft Update Catalog, are available for Windows 8, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, and Windows 10.

The Flash Player flaws patched by Adobe this month are memory corruption issues that can be exploited for arbitrary code execution. They were reported to the vendor by researchers at Google Project Zero, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs and CloverSec Labs.

There had been no evidence of exploits in the wild, but apparently Microsoft decided that the flaws are serious enough to warrant the release of an out-of-band update.

There are at least two Windows zero-day vulnerabilities that Microsoft is expected to address next month. One of them is a denial-of-service (DoS) flaw caused by how SMB traffic is handled.

The second one is a medium severity information disclosure issue discovered by Google Project Zero researchers. Google made the details of the security hole public after Microsoft failed to release a patch within 90 days.

Microsoft still hasn’t shared any information on why it had to delay the February patches, only saying that it was a last minute issue. Some have speculated that it could have something to do with cumulative updates or an infrastructure problem.

Related: Microsoft Releases Only Four Bulletins on January 2017 Update Tuesday

Related: Microsoft Patches Several Publicly Disclosed Flaws

Related: Microsoft Patches Windows Zero-Day Exploited by Russian Hackers

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.