Microsoft releases March security updates

Microsoft continued its policy of releasing monthly security updates with three new software patches on Tuesday, including fixes for the MSN Messenger instant messaging program, Windows Media Services and the Outlook e-mail client.

Microsoft publish three security bulletins, MS04-008, 009 and 010. Only one of the security holes, in Outlook, could allow attackers to run malicious code on affected computers, and none of the new vulnerabilities was rated "critical" by Microsoft, the company said. (See

The company released a patch for Microsoft Office XP Service Pack 2 and Microsoft Outlook 2002 Service Pack 2, MS04-009, that fixes a problem with the way Outlook handles URLs (uniform resource locators) that use the "mailto" tag. That tag allows Web page authors to insert links on Web pages that launch Outlook or other e-mail clients.

A problem with the way Outlook interprets mailto URLs could allow an attacker to use a specially formatted mailto URL to gain access to files on an affected system or insert and run malicious computer code, and is rated "important," Microsoft said.

Computers would have to be running a vulnerable version of Outlook and have the "Outlook Today" home page as their default homepage with Outlook. "Outlook Today" is only the home page until an e-mail account is created, Microsoft said.

Two other software bulletins, MS04-008 and 010 were both rated "moderate."

A software patch detailed in MS04-010 addresses a security hole in MSN Messenger version 6.0 and 6.1 instant messaging program that could allow an attacker to secretly view information on a user's hard drive.

A problem with the way Messenger treats requests from transfer files between Messenger installations allows attackers to use a specially formatted request to browse the recipient's hard drive and read files without the recipient knowing, Microsoft said.

Finally, MS04-008 fixes a security vulnerability in Windows 2000 Server Service Packs 2, 3 and 4. A problem with the way Windows Media Station Service and Windows Media Monitor Service process TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) connections could allow an attacker to send specially formatted TCP/IP packets that shut down either service.

Windows Media Services is a component of Windows 2000 Server that allows customers to manage and distribute Windows Media-format content over the Internet.

The vulnerability, which is of "moderate" seriousness, could make Windows 2000 Server installations vulnerable to a denial of service attack, Microsoft said.

Join the newsletter!


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.

Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

With determination and drive, you achieve outstanding performance! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

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.

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.

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?