XP SP3 omits critical security update

While it doesn't install vulnerable version of Flash, it doesn't update Flash either

Microsoft's own marketing and technical documentation claims that its service packs are all-inclusive. A white paper issued early last month, "Windows XP Service Pack 3 Overview" (download PDF), states on its title page that: "Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) includes all previously released updates for the operating system, and a small number of new updates to ensure that Windows XP customers have the latest updates for their system."

"You'll still need to update Flash after XP SP3," noted Storms. "It still requires manual intervention."

Consumer computer users will be the most likely affected by the missing update, Storms said, since enterprises do -- or at least should -- test a service pack before deploying it to, for example, determine what currently-supported component or application might be overwritten by the update. "The real significance of this is on the consumer side," said Storms. "In all likelihood, they probably wouldn't notice anything amiss until the next Patch Tuesday, when they read that they have to update Windows and go to Windows Update."

According to Microsoft, Windows Update should display MS06-069 as an available update the first time the service is called after a XP SP3 update. If the user has enabled Windows Update automatic updating, MS06-069 should be downloaded and installed.

Even then, however, users will need to further update Flash Player by visiting the Adobe Web site. On Tuesday, Microsoft again declined to explain why it had not included an update to Flash Player 9.0.124.0 -- the most current edition -- with XP SP3.

Storms speculated that Microsoft might issue a patch for the third-party software soon. "It wouldn't surprise me," he said. "Adobe took a lot of flack last week about the SQL-injection attacks."

Storms was referring to last week's disclosure that hackers have been using SQL-injection attacks to compromise legitimate Web sites, then instructing those sites to redirect visitors to malware hosting servers that try multiple exploits -- including one that triggers a bug in Flash Player 9.0.115.0 -- to hijack PCs.

"Adobe may have gone to Microsoft and asked for help to update customers," said Storms. "In conversations with our clients, it's clear that users don't update Flash unless they have to."

Microsoft's next security update is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 10.

Users running XP SP3 can determine which version of Flash Player is installed by calling up this Adobe page in their browser. Adobe has recommended that all users update to Version 9.0.124.0.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?