Windows Update glitches derail Patch Tuesday

Ten fixes, six critical, await triage


Microsoft published 10 patches as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle yesterday, but many users are experiencing problems getting hold of the software updates because of delays involving Microsoft's Windows Update delivery mechanism.

Users looking for immediate protection are advised to download the updates directly from Microsoft's website. Redmond published six critical patches this month covering Windows Shell, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, XML Core Services, and Office. All six allow an attacker to craft a web page or file that allows remote code execution, according to patch management firm Patchlink.

Most immediate concern will focus on a fix for a WebFolderView ActiveX security bug affecting IE (MS06-057), which has already been actively exploited by hackers.

Fixes for a series of four critical bugs in PowerPoint (MS06-058) and coding flaws in Microsoft's implementation of XML (MS06-061) are also high on the danger list.

Microsoft's overview of the various patches it released this month can be found here. Its explanation of Windows Update glitches can be found here. Fixing this SNAFU has to be a high priority for Microsoft and doubtless Redmond's hard working, much put-upon security gnomes will be denied access to fresh air and natural sunlight until the problem is put right.

After this month, Microsoft is dropping patching support for Windows XP Service Pack 1. November also marks the last patch cycle that Server Update Services (SUS) will be supported. SUS users should consider upgrading to Windows Server Update Services, the SANS Institute advises.

SANS's Incident Storm Centre has again produced a useful overview that'll help sys admins prioritse patching work. ®


Other stories you might like

  • OpenID-based security features added to GitHub Actions as usage doubles

    Single-use tokens and reusable workflows explained at Universe event

    GitHub Universe GitHub Actions have new security based on OpenID, along with the ability to create reusable workflows, while usage has nearly doubled year on year, according to presentations at the Universe event.

    The Actions service was previewed three years ago at Universe 2018, and made generally available a year later. It was a huge feature, building automation into the GitHub platform for the first time (though rival GitLab already offered DevOps automation).

    It require compute resources, called runners, which can be GitHub-hosted or self-hosted. Actions are commands that execute on runners. Jobs are a sequence of steps that can be Actions or shell commands. Workflows are a set of jobs which can run in parallel or sequentially, with dependencies. For example, that deployment cannot take place unless build and test is successful. Actions make it relatively easy to set up continuous integration or continuous delivery, particularly since they are cloud-hosted and even a free plan offers 2,000 automation minutes per month, and more than that for public repositories.

    Continue reading
  • REvil gang member identified living luxury lifestyle in Russia, says German media

    Die Zeit: He's got a Beemer, a Bitcoin watch and a swimming pool

    German news outlets claim to have identified a member of the infamous REvil ransomware gang – who reportedly lives the life of Riley off his ill-gotten gains.

    The gang member, nicknamed Nikolay K by Die Zeit newspaper and the Bayerische Rundfunk radio station, reportedly owns a €70,000 watch with a Bitcoin address engraved on its face and rents yachts for €1,300 a day whenever he goes on holiday.

    "He seems to prefer T-shirts from Gucci, luxurious BMW sportscars and large sunglasses," reported Die Zeit, which partly identified him through social media videos posted by his wife.

    Continue reading
  • A Windows 11 tsunami? No, more of a ripple as Microsoft's latest OS hits 5% PC market

    Next version of Windows 10 looms around the corner

    Microsoft's Windows 11 OS has notched up a respectable near 5 per cent of PCs surveyed by AdDuplex, as another Dev Channel build was unleashed with new features for the favoured few.

    With less than a month of General Availability under its belt, Windows 11 now accounts for 4.8 per cent of "modern" PCs (Windows Insiders running the OS account for 0.3 per cent) according to the ad platform. The figure is up from the 1.3 per cent in September, which was Insider-only and points to some migration to the production version of the software.

    The figure is both an indicator of Microsoft's cautious approach to releasing its wares and the limited amount of hardware that can actually run the round-cornered OS.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021