Microsoft fixes URI problem in Windows

Microsoft has fixed a critical bug in the Windows URI protocol handler as part of its Patch Tuesday security updates.

The bug lies in the secdrv.sys driver built by Macrovision that ships with Windows XP, Server 2003 and Vista, but Vista is not vulnerable to the problem, according to Microsoft.

Macrovision has also published a patch for this problem.

Its a "bit worrisome" that Microsoft hasn't pushed out a patch for the bug, given that Macrovision has already made its fix available, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations with nCircle Network Security. "However, [it's] understandable that Microsoft would want to run the patch through its QA [quality assurance] and software release cycles," he added. "Given the choice between the URI bug and the Macrovision fix, enterprise security operations teams would much rather have the URI fix."

Users of Microsoft's WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) update system had been wondering if they were going to get Tuesday's patches, after a Microsoft programming error knocked WSUS administration consoles offline on Sunday and Monday. Microsoft had misnamed an entry in WSUS's database causing the consoles to crash.

The problem was fixed on Monday, said Bobbie Harder, a Microsoft senior program manager, in a blog posting. But WSUS servers that synchronized with Microsoft between 5 pm.Sunday and 11 am Monday Pacific Time will need to resynchronize to avoid the problem.

Though she had heard of one user who had to manually updated his WSUS server, Tuesday's updates went off without a hitch, said Susan Bradley, a WSUS user who is chief technology officer with Tamiyasu, Smith, Horn and Braun, Accountancy.

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Robert McMillan

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