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News

Microsoft releases bumper patch bulletin

Lumension Security : 13 August, 2009  (Technical Article)
Lumension comments on the patch release from Microsoft which will provide a heavy workload to IT administrators
It may be holiday season but not for IT managers as Microsoft releases yet another bumper batch of patches

Paul Henry, security and forensic analyst, Lumension comments: "After a summer of heavier-than-normal Patch Tuesdays, the last thing IT workers need is yet another large batch of patches from Microsoft. Unfortunately, that is exactly what we got today as Microsoft released a total of nine security updates, five of which are critical and seven of which require disruptive restarts. While they are not the kernel issues that many were bracing for based on the initial pre-release, they are still very important and also disruptive. For priorities, the five critical issues MS09-37, MS09-038, MS09-39, MS09-43, MS09-44 will be the first priority as all offer remote code execution, followed by MS09-42 and finally, the privilege of elevation and/or DOS issues associated with MS09-36, MS09-40 and MS09-41.

There was concern about an issue in the pre-release information that was initially thought to be exclusive to Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) server and its potential impact to security teams that support ISA. The published bulletin for MS09-43 shows it in fact impacts not only Microsoft ISA Server but also Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft BizTalk Server. While security teams may at first breath a little easier - the overall impact will perhaps be larger.

Overall, the full impact on IT workers will be a disruptive and busy Patch Tuesday while we are already facing the need to deal with patches from Apple and Mozilla distributed within the last week. Further, Microsoft has released a new version of Internet Explorer 8 that includes new default settings to ease regulatory concerns with the previously released version's default settings.

There has been speculation by many in the IT industry that, over time, the need to invest time and resources in patching would diminish, but looking back at the number of critical patches that Microsoft issued in June (6) and July (4), the short-term trend doesn't support that theory. Further, the recent out of band patches we have seen from Adobe and Microsoft have made this a long and difficult summer for IT Pros."
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