Microsoft fixes IE, Windows Media Player flaws

Microsoft has patched critical flaws in Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Visual Basic

Microsoft has rolled out its monthly security updates for December, patching critical flaws in Internet Explorer, Windows Media Format and the Visual Studio 2005 development software.

The seven security patches address 11 bugs, including two in the Windows Media Player software. However, no fixes were provided for two Microsoft World flaws that have been used in a small number of attacks over the past week.

Microsoft had said it would release only six patches on Tuesday, but the company added the Windows Media Format update at the last minute, after reports of attacks based on this vulnerability began surfacing. The Windows Media Format is used by Microsoft's Windows Media Player software.

In late November, security vendors warned that a buffer overflow error could occur when the Windows Media Player processed ".asx" (Advanced Stream Redirector) media files, meaning that users would first need to be tricked into opening a malicious media file for the attack to work.

In its update Tuesday, Microsoft also patched a similar bug in the way the media player processes ".asf" (Advanced Systems Format) files.

The Internet Explorer patch fixes four bugs. It is also rated critical, and is noteworthy because some of these bugs will probably begin to be exploited by hackers by week's end, said Gunter Ollmann, director of IBM's Internet Security System's X-Force threat analysis service.

Enterprise administrators should also pay close attention to an SNMP (Simple Network Monitoring Protocol) patch issued Tuesday, Ollmann said.

Microsoft has rated this patch as "important," rather than critical because SNMP is normally blocked at the firewall and turned off by default on Windows systems. However, it is widely deployed as part of the network monitoring infrastructure in the enterprise, and is often used on critical servers, Ollmann said.

Ollmann believes this SNMP patch is the "most important" update for enterprise customers.

"Since the service is widely deployed in the enterprise and since it's commonly deployed on servers, we think this would be an important attack vector for enterprises," he said.

The remaining updates include a "critical" fix for Visual Studio 2005, and "important" updates for Windows and Outlook Express, Microsoft said.

Microsoft defines "critical" flaws as bugs that could allow the propagation of an Internet worm without any action on the part of the victim.

The company's next set of security updates are due Jan. 9.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

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?