Microsoft to patch Word bug, change ActiveX on Tuesday

Microsoft plans to release 13 security patches next Tuesday, including a fix for a Word zero-day vulnerability.

Windows administrators are going to be busy next week, as Microsoft plans to release a whopping twelve security patches for its products. The updates will include a fix for a widely reported vulnerability in Microsoft Word, as well as changes to the way Internet Explorer (IE) handles ActiveX that might cause headaches for some.

Nine of the patches will address vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, some of which Microsoft rates critical. There will also be one "Important" fix for Microsoft Exchange, and two patches for Microsoft Office, including software that repairs the Word bug.

Last month hackers began e-mailing the Word malware to a handful of victims -- mostly within government agencies or contractors -- in a series of extremely targeted attacks, said Johannes Ullrich, chief research officer at the SANS Institute.

But as knowledge of the Word flaw has spread, researchers like Ullrich fear that it may be used in a more widespread attack. The vulnerability can be exploited to run unauthorized software on PCs, although users must first be first tricked into opening a maliciously encoded Word document.

Microsoft also plans to finalize changes to the way IE processes dynamic content using ActiveX. Microsoft is changing the way IE works in response to a 2003 patent lawsuit loss to the University of California and Eolas Technologies.

The changes will force developers to reprogram parts of their Web sites and intranets. Otherwise, IE will force users to click on a pop-up "tool tip" dialog box before being able to interact with things like Flash or QuickTime.

Microsoft has actually been rolling these changes into IE for months, but has offered users a "compatibility patch" that allowed IE to work on Web sites that had not been reprogrammed. With Tuesday's updates, though, there will be no way to avoid the ActiveX changes.

The biggest headache, however, will come from the sheer number of updates being released Tuesday, said Susan Bradley, chief technology officer with Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn and Braun, Accountancy.

Complicating matters is the fact that these patches will be released in the middle of Microsoft's Tech-Ed user conference. "I'll be at Tech-Ed in Boston and deciding if I remotely patch over the weekend or not," Bradley said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?