Microsoft Ruining Valentine's Day with Nine Security Bulletins

Microsoft shared its Patch Tuesday preview, revealing that there are nine security bulletins on the agenda for next week.

Next Tuesday is a big deal. Yes, it is Valentine’s Day, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It is also the second Tuesday in the month of February which makes it Patch Tuesday. Microsoft revealed today that there are nine new security bulletins slated for next Tuesday -- Happy Valentine’s Day?

Of the nine security bulletins, four are rated as Critical and the remaining five are all Important. Based on the limited information Microsoft shares in the Patch Tuesday preview, the security updates impact Windows, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, the .NET framework, Silverlight, and Microsoft Server software.

Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek declares in a blog post that the Internet Explorer update should get urgent attention. “There is the expected critical update to Internet Explorer which should be highest priority. After all, we saw last month how quickly attackers are incorporating browser based attacks into their toolkits; an exploit for MS12-004 was detected a mere 15 days after Patch Tuesday.”

Marcus Carey, a security researcher at Rapid7, agrees that the Web browser is a crucial weak point for many consumers and organizations. “We’re seeing a great many browser patches from Microsoft these days because researchers and attackers have realized that browser exploits have the most potential for harm and are currently the best attack surface. Browser-based attacks will certainly continue to be an attack vector from here on.”

Carey also notes that one of the security bulletins is the third Critical update impacting .NET framework and Silverlight in just the past few months. He points out that media players and browser plug-ins are popular attack vectors, so any technology that is capable of exploiting the browser -- either directly or indirectly -- is getting increased attention from both attackers and security researchers.

Nine security bulletins is not quite the avalanche that we saw repeatedly with record-setting months in 2011, but it is also big enough to keep IT admins busy. Lumension security and forensic analyst Paul Henry believes nine is a relatively light Patch Tuesday, though. “Clearly, the company’s renewed focus is paying off. Now if folks would just follow through and patch!”

Many of the updates will require a system reboot, so IT admins should be prepared to test and deploy the patches at a time that provides minimum impact or downtime for users.

Hey Microsoft, if you’re looking for some Valentine’s Day gift ideas, next year I’d prefer some chocolate, or maybe just a nice card.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about ASTInc.LumensionMicrosoftQualysRapid7Trend Micro Australia

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tony Bradley

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place