Bumper crop of October patch releases

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 16, 2009

Busy weeks for admins as Patch Tuesday joined by Adobe fixes, and Mozilla announces plug-in checking plans.

This week has seen Microsoft's monthly Patch Tuesday release of security updates, featuring a larger than usual 13 fixes, joined by a set of patches from Adobe for its widely-used PDF-handling software. With home and business users advised to apply all security-related updates as quickly as possible, it has been a busy time for administrators rushing to test and roll out the bulky batch of patches.

The Microsoft bulletin included eight alerts marked 'Critical', all of which could lead to remote code execution if the vulnerabilities described were successfully exploited. Of these, among the most significant is a fix for a string of vulnerabilities in the GDI+ image rendering system, which handles a number of image formats widely used online. Also included were updates for Media Player and the usual cumulative update for the Internet Explorer browser. A further five alerts were labelled 'Important', and altogether more than 50 separate vulnerabilities are covered by the release.

At the same time, Adobe released a security alert for a string of critical security vulnerabilities in its Acrobat and Reader software, the leading choices for PDF handling. The update covers several versions and multiple operating systems which may be vulnerable to exploitation by maliciously crafted documents. 29 separate vulnerabilities are covered, and the firm also announced improved updating systems to be included in its latest product lines.

Meanwhile, Mozilla has announced a new system to allow users of its Firefox web browser to keep track of their plug-ins, alerting the user when a plug-in is in need of updating. The system is due to be rolled into Firefox as an automated system soon.

Full details of the patches issued are at Microsoft here and at Adobe here. Comment on the release can be read on the SophosLabs blog here or at F-Secure here, and the SANS Handler's Diary overview is here. The Register has more information about the improvements to Adobe updating here.

A summary of the Firefox plug-in checker system is on Brian Krebs' Washington Post blog here or in The Register here, with official details from Mozilla here.

Posted on 16 October 2009 by Virus Bulletin

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