Microsoft tiny Patch Tuesday has no IE fix


Microsoft has planned a comparatively small Patch Tuesday update with only three bulletins and no fix for a critical flaw in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8.

Just 11 vulnerabilities will be patched, compared to the record 49 listed last month, and the products affected are Microsoft Office and Microsoft's Forefront Unified Access Gateway.

One of the Office flaws has been ranked as critical and affects all versions, Microsoft confirmed in its bulletin.

"A critical rating on an Office program is fairly rare - most vulnerabilities on the Office suite are categorised as important' because they typically require user interaction to get a successful exploitation," explained Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer of Qualys.

"Critical here indicates a vulnerability that can be used to take control of the target machine without user interaction."

Alan Bentley, international senior vice president at Lumension, said Microsoft was "catching its breath" with this month's Patch Tuesday, but the lack of a fix for the IE zero-day flaw was "surprising."

"Despite this vulnerability affecting IE versions 6, 7 and 8 there continues to be no mention of it and Microsoft, despite issuing a work around, is not expected to release an out of band patch," Bentley added.

"This could leave many users waiting for more than a month before they know they are fully protected from this threat, because a work around typically is not implemented by the majority of users."

However, Microsoft said earlier this week the vulnerability, which has been exploited in the wild, could be fixed with an out-of-cycle security update.

Google gets going with patches

While Microsoft has not confirmed a date to patch its browser, Google has fixed 10 vulnerabilities in the latest Chrome release, all of them rated high.'

Goggle has paid out $7,500 (4,630) to researchers who helped locate the flaws. Google employees were responsible for helping find two of the security holes, an advisory revealed.

Chrome version 7.0.517.44 also includes an updated version of Adobe Flash, which has experienced security problems of its own recently.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.