Microsoft to deliver five critical Windows patches next week

Few clues in advance warning make Sept. 8 updates a mystery, says researcher

Microsoft today said it will deliver five security updates on Tuesday, all affecting Windows and all ranked "critical," the company's highest threat rating.

Unlike some months when Microsoft provides its usual advance notification for upcoming updates, this time there weren't any hints of what may be coming, said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security.

"It's a foggy advance warning," said Storms. "I'm a little bit at a loss for words. There doesn't seem to be anything here that has been disclosed publicly."

That didn't stop Storms from speculating, though. "We could see another ATL update," he said, referring to the flaws in Active Template Library (ATL), a Microsoft code "library" that it and third-party developers use to create software.

Microsoft acknowledged the ATL vulnerabilities in July, when it issued two emergency updates to patch six bugs in its own software.

Since then, it and several other vendors, including Adobe, have released additional patches for programs that inherited the ATL flaws.

"It wouldn't be surprising if Microsoft still had some ATL bugs to fix," said Storms, "although I think it's also likely that we'll see more third-party patches than ones from Microsoft."

All five of the security updates slated to ship next week are rated critical, and all five were tagged as affecting various versions of both the client and server editions of Windows. "I guess you could say that they're batting five for five on Windows," observed Storms. "It's also batting four for five for Vista and [Windows] Server 2008."

As Storms said, four of the five updates apply to Windows Vista -- all four of those are ranked critical -- while the same four will also impact Windows Server 2008, the newest production version of Microsoft's server software. Three of those Server 2008 updates were pegged critical, while the fourth was rated as "important," the next-lowest threat level.

Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 will also receive updates Tuesday.

"We usually don't expect to see Microsoft's new OSes to be critical," noted Storms. "It's also unusual that they're all for Windows. So this is out of the ordinary."

Microsoft won't be patching the just-revealed vulnerability in its popular Internet Information Services (IIS) Web server, according to Storms. "We couldn't expect Microsoft to patch it that fast," he said, reading the tea leaves of the advance notification to dismiss any thought that the bug in IIS 5.0, 5.1 and 6.0 will get a fix next week.

Even though Microsoft promised Tuesday that it would patch IIS at some point, other analysts had said it was very unlikely that Microsoft would have an IIS patch ready in time.

Next week's five updates follow the nine issued Aug. 11 , the two emergency updates released in late July, and the six it shipped July 14 , that month's regularly-scheduled Patch Tuesday.

Microsoft will release the five updates at approximately 1 p.m. ET on Sept 8.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags security patchMicrosoftsecurityWindowsmicrosoft patches

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?