Microsoft Plans First Critical Windows 8 Security Patches

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe’s Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Patch Tuesday sees off four critical flaws

Tomorrow’s Patch Tuesday is due to be a small, yet critical one for IT teams, as Microsoft announced four vital fixes.

Of six bulletins, four were ranked as critical and if exploited would result in remote code execution, Microsoft’s advisory noted.

This release marks the first security update from Microsoft after the release of Windows 8, which is believed to be considerably more secure than its predecessors.

Windows 8 security

“Most organisations will be affected by these critical bulletins as they relate to legacy codebase that is present even in Microsoft’s most recent releases such as Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012,” security firm Rapid7 noted.

“This may come as a surprise to many who expected Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 to be much more secure than legacy versions. The truth is that Microsoft and other vendors have significant technical debt in their code base which results in security issues.”

The first critical update affects Internet Explorer, affecting a variety of operating systems, but not Windows 8. The flaw could be exploited via drive-by download and targeted attacks

Bulletins 2, 4 and 5 affect all Microsoft operating systems from Windows XP up. IT teams will want to pay particular attention to bulletins 2 and 5, as they are core operating system flaws that require restart to fix.

One of the critical bulletins, number 5, also affects Windows RT, which is running on the Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

Last month, exploit seller VUPEN said it had found a number of critical vulnerabilities in Windows 8, but it hasn’t informed Microsoft, as it only reveals its research to its own customers.

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