Microsoft pushes out critical security updates for Internet Explorer

Microsoft has published an out-of-band security bulletin--MS12-063--to address a vulnerability that is being actively exploited in attacks in the wild. In addition, Microsoft also released an update to resolve a critical flaw in Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer 10--which is the default browser in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft has responded quickly in its investigation of reports that a zero-day vulnerability in Internet Explorer is being actively exploited. Microsoft issued a security advisory with workarounds, and mitigating factors to help customers guard against attacks pending a fix. Then, it released a one-click Fix-It tool to protect customers while kicking its developers in to high gear to create a more permanent fix.

Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle, praised Microsoft's quick turnaround, but he also feels there is more on the line than just protecting customers from attacks. "Microsoft had to respond very quickly to this bug. In addition to the serious security threats it posed to their customers, Internet Explorer's market share is at risk. Many security pundits and organizations have been telling users to switch browsers until a patch is available. I'm sure that got the attention of a lot of Microsoft executives."

To Microsoft's credit, this is the first "zero-day" to hit Internet Explorer in nearly two years. It seems like it was once a much more common occurrence, and that once upon a time Microsoft wasn't this good at cranking out the fix. Microsoft has come a long way in improving its own response to identified security issues, and in setting the bar for other software vendors to strive for.

Separate from the MS12-063 patch, which applies to Internet Explorer 7, 8, and 9, Microsoft also addressed a critical security issue in Internet Explorer 10. There are updates available for both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 8, and for Windows Server 2012 to fix issues in Adobe Flash code embedded in Internet Explorer 10.

In previous versions of Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash is treated as a separate, standalone application. That software is updated by Adobe, and the patch is traditionally applied outside of the Windows Update or Microsoft Patch Tuesday processes. However, because Flash is now embedded in Internet Explorer 10, the burden falls on Microsoft to develop and release the appropriate patch.

If you have Automatic Updates enabled, you don't need to do anything. However, if you don't have Automatic Updates enabled, you should download and apply these updates as soon as possible.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
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