Sun's Solaris now getting quarterly security patches

Oracle's next patch update, due Tuesday, will be its first to include Sun products

Oracle has moved Solaris onto its quarterly security patch schedule, meaning users of the Sun Microsystems operating system will now know months in advance when they will be getting security updates.

Oracle announced the news Thursday, saying it will include a number of Sun products in its next Critical Patch Update, which is due on Tuesday. The update will include 16 security fixes for Sun products, including Solaris, Sun Cluster, Sun Convergence and the Sun Ray server software.

Sun had previously released security patches on an ad hoc basis. Oracle, which bought Sun in January, is now putting Sun's products on a quarterly patch cycle to make the process more predictable. Many big software companies, including Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Adobe Systems, have adopted similar regular patch cycles.

As usual, Oracle will also ship fixes for its flagship database. Seven of the 47 patches due next are for the database. However, the database bugs are not as critical as some past vulnerabilities have been. Oracle said none of the bugs it is fixing next week can be exploited remotely without having a username and password for the database server. It will also patch its E-Business Suite, Collaboration Suite, Fusion middleware, Industry Suite and PeopleTools software.

After Tuesday, Oracle's next set of updates is due on July 13.

Tuesday will be a busy day for system administrators. Microsoft plans to fix 25 vulnerabilities in its products on the same day, and Adobe is set to release patches for its Acrobat and Reader software.

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