Microsoft pushes out critical Flash Player patches with one week delay

A critical Windows update released Tuesday fixes vulnerabilities in Flash Player

After deciding to postpone its February patches for a month, Microsoft released one critical security update for Windows on Tuesday that contains Flash Player patches released by Adobe Systems last week.

The new security bulletin, identified as MS17-005, is rated critical for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, and moderate for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

On these Windows versions, Flash Player is bundled by default with Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge, so Microsoft delivers patches for it through Windows Update.

This month's Flash Player patches were released by Adobe on February 14 and address 13 vulnerabilities that could lead to remote code execution. Typically Adobe releases patches on the same day as Microsoft, a day known in the industry as Patch Tuesday.

This month, though, Microsoft postponed its updates at the last minute due to an unspecified issue that, it said, could have affected customers.

Microsoft later announced that its February patches will instead be released on March 14, next month's Patch Tuesday. So it's somewhat surprising that it has decided to release the Flash Player patches now.

From a security point of view it's good that the company hasn't delayed delivering the Flash Player patches for a whole month, because these patches are already public via Adobe and attackers could reverse-engineer them to craft exploits until then.

On the other hand, there's the question of why didn't Microsoft release them last week.

This gives weight to previous speculation that the issue that forced the company postpone its patches was related to the Windows Update infrastructure and not to a particular buggy update.

On Windows, Flash Player vulnerabilities can be exploited in several ways: via the browser through specially crafted Flash files hosted on websites or in malicious advertisements, and via Microsoft Office files that malicious ActiveX controls embedded into them.

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.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

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

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.

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

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?