Microsoft releases monthly security updates

Microsoft has released four security updates including critical fixes for Internet Explorer and Exchange.

Microsoft released software security patches Tuesday, fixing some nasty browser and mail server flaws as well as a bug in SQL Server that was publicly disclosed in December.

The company released four updates, including critical fixes for Exchange and Internet Explorer. Two other updates, for SQL Server and Visio, were rated "important," meaning it would be a little harder for hackers to exploit the bugs they fix.

The Exchange patch is considered the most important, according to security vendor TippingPoint. Without the patch, hackers could shut down or possibly even take control of an Exchange e-mail server by sending a specially written e-mail attachment. "A compromised e-mail server, in addition to snooping corporate secrets, can be used as a launch pad for attacks against other servers in the enterprise," TippingPoint said in a statement.

The critical update for Internet Explorer fixes two vulnerabilities in the browser that could be exploited by hackers to run unauthorized software on a victim's computer. For this attack to work, the victim would have to be tricked into visiting a maliciously crafted Web page. Although no attacks have yet been reported exploiting these bugs, Microsoft believes that now that the patches are out, it will be easy for attackers to work up a reliable attack.

The SQL Server patch had been expected. It fixes a bug in the database software that Microsoft acknowledged late last year. According to the researcher who disclosed the SQL issue, Microsoft has known about it since April and wrote its initial patch for the bug back in September.

In all, the updates released this month are "much more critical" than January's patches, TippingPoint said. Last month, Microsoft released just one update, for its Windows Server Message Block file and print service.

Join the newsletter!

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

Tags microsoft patches

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

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?