After attacks, Microsoft to rush out fix for bug

For a change, the update will be released first to the Microsoft Download Center

Microsoft is rushing out a fix for a Windows Web server flaw that is starting to be exploited by online attackers.

The patch fixes a bug in the Windows technology used in Microsoft's servers. Microsoft says it's seen "limited" exploitation of the flaw in online attacks, but the problem is serious enough that the company has decided to rush out a fix ahead of its next regular patch update, scheduled for Oct. 12. is used to build Web applications, and the bug gives attackers a way to gain access to protected files or read encrypted data sent by an application server. Earlier this month, researchers demonstrated how the attack could be used to steal encrypted session cookies or possibly even user names and passwords from websites.

Microsoft occasionally does this type of out-of-band update when it spots a serious security problem, but this release is different. For the first time, Microsoft will initially release the patch only at the Microsoft Download Center -- typically used by users at large organizations who want to test the patches before manually installing them companywide.

"This enables us to get the update out as quickly as possible, allowing administrators with enterprise installations, or end users who want to install this security update manually, the ability to test and update their systems immediately," Microsoft said Monday in a blog post announcing the update. "We strongly encourage these customers to visit the Download Center, download the update, test it in their environment and deploy it as soon as possible."

For most consumers, who rely on automatic updates, the patch is still a few days away. Consumers aren't vulnerable to the bug, however, unless they happen to be running a Web server on their computer.

Microsoft will release the update in the Download Center at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday. The company didn't give a date for the broader, automatic update.

"This is the first time we've released [an] update this way, but due to the nature of the active attacks and the severity of the potential loss of data, we are releasing the security update to the Microsoft Download Center first so customers (specifically large enterprises, hosting providers, and ISVs) can begin updating their systems," Microsoft said in an e-mailed statement. "Within a few days we will distribute the update through the rest of our standard distribution channels."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags patchesMicrosoftexploitssecurityWindowsvulnerabilitysoftwareoperating systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Deals on PC World

Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?