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Microsoft Unleashes a Mammoth, 'Disruptive' Patch Tuesday

Microsoft Unleashes a Mammoth,
February 13, 2013 10:15AM

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Security analyst Andrew Storms expects IT teams to be on the hustle because in addition to Microsoft's Internet Explorer security patches, Adobe released fixes for another pair of remote code execution bugs in Flash and Shockwave. He said it's important not to lose sight of these in the tidal wave of Microsoft patches -- the Adobe updates are just as important.

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Microsoft on Tuesday released 12 security bulletins to fix a whopping 57 vulnerabilities, including five critical issues. With plenty of restarts required as part of the patching process, security analysts are calling February's Patch Tuesday "disruptive."

Paul Henry, a security and forensic analyst at Lumension, told us it was disturbing to note how many different Microsoft platforms are critically affected this month. Everything from Windows XP to the new Windows RT is critically affected.

"It's never a good sign when your current code base is impacted. There are also many more bulletins this month than we've seen in the last few months," Henry said. "We noted in December that 2012 brought more consistency and stability to Patch Tuesday than we saw in 2011. We hope that this month is a one-time spike and not a return to the yo-yo pattern of 2011."

Drive-by Bug Fixes

Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle, told us this month's Patch Tuesday was enough to make an administrator's head spin. If there's any good news in a patch this massive, he said, it's that the majority of the common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) belong to just a few bulletins.

His advice: If you only have time to do the absolute minimum, you should patch Internet Explorer and Flash immediately. That's because both of these remote execution bugs are serious security risks, so patch all of them and patch them fast.

"We received two bulletins that include a total of 14 CVEs affecting all versions of Internet Explorer today. Both bulletins fix 'drive-by bugs' that only require the victim to browse a Web site to become infected with malicious code," Storms said. "Maybe the reason the IE bug count is so high this month is because Microsoft's IE security team is determined to beat their bug backlog into submission. I'd hate to think that we should expect this volume of IE CVEs every month in 2013."

Storms expects IT teams to be on the hustle because in addition to the IE patches, Adobe released fixes for another pair of remote code execution bugs in Flash and Shockwave. He said it's important not to lose sight of these in the tidal wave of Microsoft patches -- the Adobe updates are just as important because successful attacks can allow attackers to gain complete control of infected systems.

"As expected, the Exchange bulletin patches Oracle's Outside In technology instead of more crucial components in Exchange," Storms said. "This is a huge relief with all the other, more critical patches that have to deployed as soon as possible." (continued...)

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Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Dawesi:

Posted: 2013-03-01 @ 8:24pm PT
Windows, OSX and Ubuntu all have similar amount of vulnerabilities.

The only company to care enough to give you control over how these are pushed out is Microsoft, so big deal. Nothing new here. Apple on the other hand has many outstanding vulnerabilities and their answer was to force you to not use products, no choice, even if your livelyhood depends on it.

I'd hardly call a restart 'disruptive'.

Sounds like a paid 'bagging'.

jonny rocket:

Posted: 2013-02-13 @ 11:39am PT
"WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF WINDOWS."



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