Friday, 07 August 2009 03:22

What's ahead for August's Patch Tuesday

Microsoft has provided advance notice of nine bulletins this month, five of them critical. There's even a critical update directed at the company's Mac software.

Microsoft routinely releases security patches on the second Tuesday of the month, though as we saw in July this rhythm is sometimes interrupted when the company feels a patch is sufficiently important.

The idea is to make it easier for system administrators to plan their work, and to this end Microsoft provides several days notice of the extent of each set of bulletins. There are rarely any clues to the nature of the bugs being fixed.

As is often the case, the August Windows bulletins cover all supported versions of the operating system: 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista and Server 2008.

However, not all bulletins affect every version. While three of the four critical bulletins for Windows affect all these versions, the other only applies to 2000 and Server 2003.

The remaining critical bulletin addresses a previously disclosed vulnerability in Office Web Components. It applies to Office XP and 2003; Office Web Components 2000, XP, 2003, and 2003 for Office 2007; Office Small Business Accounting 2006; Visual Studio .NET 2003; Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2004 and 2006; and BizTalk Server 2002.

All the critical bulletins cover vulnerabilities that allow remote code execution. The remaining bulletins are all rated important, with two allowing privilege escalation, one denial of service, and one remote code execution.

The only piece of Mac software covered by the August bulletins will be the Remote Desktop client, usually known as Remote Desktop Connection for Mac. This application is used to log in remotely to a Windows PC from a Mac.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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