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Wednesday, 22 February 2017 10:54

Microsoft: no plans to patch known bugs before March Featured

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Microsoft has no plans to issue updates for two vulnerabilities, one a zero-day and the other being one publicised by Google, before the scheduled date for its next round of updates rolls around in March.

The company did not issue any updates in February, even though it had been scheduled to switch to a new system from this month onwards.

It gave no reason for this, apart from saying: "This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.

"After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan."

The Google-disclosed bug was made public last week, and is said to be a flaw in the Windows graphic device interface library that can be exploited both locally and remotely to read the contents of a user's memory.

This was the second time the search engine giant has released details of bugs in Windows for which there are no patches, the first being a zero-day exploit.

Additionally, a zero-day exploit is floating around, this being one that implements an SMB3 server and affects clients connecting to it.

Asked for comment about Google's actions, Microsoft responded: "Windows is the only platform with a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues, and proactively update impacted devices.

"Our standard policy is to provide solutions via our current Update Tuesday schedule."

Microsoft announced in August last year that it would be replacing its system of issuing detailed security bulletins along with separate patches on the second Tuesday of each month.

Instead, the company said it would provide a searchable database of support documents named the "security updates guide".

The company also said there would be cumulative updates for both Windows 7 and 8.1, from this month onwards. Windows 10 has had cumulative updates from the time it was released.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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