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Microsoft Sets Record With Monster Patch Tuesday

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-a-day dept.

Security 237

CWmike writes "Microsoft today issued 10 security updates that patched a record 31 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer, Excel, Word, Windows Search and other programs, including 18 bugs marked 'critical.' Of the 10 bulletins, six patched some part of Windows, while three patched an Office application or component, and one fixed a flaw in IE. The total bug count was the most patched by Microsoft in a single month since the company began regularly scheduled updates in 2003. The previous record of 26 vulnerabilities patched occurred in both August 2008 and August 2006. 'This is a very broad bunch,' said Wolfgang Kandek, CTO at Qualys, 'compared to last month, which was really all about PowerPoint. You've got to work everywhere, servers and workstations, and even Macs if you have them. It's not getting any better, the number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow.'"

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237 comments

That's a lot of patches (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274247)

but at least I got first post.

Re:That's a lot of patches (2, Insightful)

xaosflux (917784) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274329)

For MS maybe, but there have been many time that I've seen Umbuntu ask to install a list of updates longer then my johnson... Of course it is updating multiple products, but so is MS here.

I'd be more impressed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274353)

if you said you were hung like a stallion.

Re:That's a lot of patches (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274377)

a list of updates longer then my johnson...

Sounds like it wasn't exactly a matter of great concern then.

Re:That's a lot of patches (4, Insightful)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274437)

Ubuntu is updating all products in all repo's, with a single command/daily check.

The problem with windows is that you're not doing this at all when you check windows update/wsus - you're checking windows only- (other microsoft products if you opted-in to doing this).

This is in fact the real problem with windows- patch management is just a total nightmare.

For example, Adobe also patched today- but can you manage that upgrade at the same time? Nope.

it's mindbogglingly hard at any point in time to say you are patched when running a windows system. This is the greatest challange/weakness of windows, and the biggest benefit of Linux - package management as a means of achieving security.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0, Troll)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274665)

Does Ubtunu, or any other Linux distro, provide a way to keep proprietary applications patched or updated? Exactly.

Re:That's a lot of patches (3, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274703)

Does Ubtunu, or any other Linux distro, provide a way to keep proprietary applications patched or updated? Exactly.

Indeed, create your own repository and have your installer add that repository to the list when your application is installed (though you should ask permission or people will get angry with you). From that point on the customer's PC will update your software automatically, it'll even warn the customer to install it quickly if you flag it as a security update.

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274909)

As I understand it, however, there's no way to protect that application against non-authenticated users. Can you have an APT repository that, say, requires a login and password?

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

eosp (885380) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274985)

An APT repository is just a directory exposed by HTTP. You might be able to .htpasswd it but I'm not sure whether it would work.

Re:That's a lot of patches (4, Informative)

eosp (885380) | more than 4 years ago | (#28275025)

The article here [debian-adm...ration.org] explains that you can either have a secured FTP repository or one grabbed by SSH.

Re:That's a lot of patches (3, Informative)

Compholio (770966) | more than 4 years ago | (#28275033)

As I understand it, however, there's no way to protect that application against non-authenticated users. Can you have an APT repository that, say, requires a login and password?

Yes, there are other ways but a couple easy methods are in this article: http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/513 [debian-adm...ration.org]

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274707)

There are non-free apps in some of the multiverse repo's so yes, obviously they can. In anycase, Anyone can add a custom repo to their sources.list and a valid signing key.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0, Flamebait)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274755)

Does Wundwos, or any Mhac, provide a way to keep proprietary applications patched or updated? Exactly.

Fixed that for you.

Is it the new fad to spell "Ubuntu" wrong? It's not that difficult. Add it to Firefox's dictionary if you have to.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28275001)

The correct spelling is "Noobuntu".

Re:That's a lot of patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274721)

Dude, if Microsoft started up a system for updates, then they'd simply be criticized for monopolizing further!

Either that, or increasing the security risk by creating another single point of failure.

Re:That's a lot of patches (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274943)

Yet another example of a "feature" of Linux being a "drawback" to Windows.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274725)

blah

Really? Cause I roll out patches to all sorts of MS products with WSUS.

blah

And WSUS makes rollouts pretty dman easy. I'm not sure why you call it a nightmare.

blah

Adobe updates roll out with Ubuntu? Sweet. Oh wait, no.

blah

If you install any software for linux that isn't in the repository, you have to do the same damn thing. Get over it.

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274827)

Um, with Linux you have your choice between apt-get and yum, both of which let you add any repo you want. On my system, proprietary drivers, browser plugins, etc. are all kept up to date by Ubuntu automatically.

WSUS does not let you do this. As far as I can tell, you can set up your own server but you can't update non-Microsoft software.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28275011)

Sweet. Where's the WOW repository for updating it on Linux. Oh, there isn't one.

How about the repository for updating Oracle. Oh wait, no...

Get the idea? Yes there are more things in the repository. Or another repository you add (when the original guy was complaining about having to click on a link to add other MS software, I figure I get to bitch about having to add other repositories). Are all things you want or might want in a repository waiting for you to add it? No. So you still have to do the same damn thing.

Re:That's a lot of patches (0, Flamebait)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28275029)

Because a WSUS install helps a single user at home stay upto date with any degree of reliability. Idiot.

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274923)

For example, Adobe also patched today- but can you manage that upgrade at the same time? Nope.

I'm still looking for the feature that disables all auto-update checks and dialog boxes.

Re:That's a lot of patches (2, Interesting)

Bill_Royle (639563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274971)

Sorry, that's not the case. I'm not happy about this month's load of patches, but there are perfectly good patch management solutions out there that can manage multiple vendors and products with ease. I've had pretty good luck with Patchlink, and expect that in the next day or so I'll have a reasonable amount of information to go through to determine what needs to be patched. And when I have a question I know I can contact someone there to get more specifics.

I think what a lot of people don't like is that there's not a *free* patch management solution that is as effective as some of the paid ones (such as Patchlink). But that is a complaint based on price, not on availability. There are working solutions out there, it's just that many of the good ones often cost money. As an enterprise user I need the resources and continuity that a commercial product can contractually provide.

As for package management as it relates to Windows, that's different than patch management. The benefit that an OS like Ubuntu brings to the table is a dead-simple updating mechanism that can cover multiple products. It can be used to roll out patches, sure, and it is. But it is also used intensively for rolling out cursory product updates which have more to do with bug fixes than security flaws. Is that because Ubuntu or other Linux flavors are more secure? Probably - but a lot of that also comes down to market share more than programming quality.

One way or the other, the statement that patch management is a total nightmare isn't the case - it just depends on the approach and purchasing priorities that you set.

Disclosure: I don't work for nor have I ever worked for Lumension, and I haven't received anything (and won't) for posting this.

Re:That's a lot of patches (2, Interesting)

NormHome (99305) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274979)

I've thought for some time that Microsoft should have some type of open update scheme that other vendors could participate in. As you mention so that Adobe could submit their updates to MS and that you get all your updates through Windows update. I realize that this is a serious issue and that MS would have to run it in a benevolent manner and I think most people here would agree that MS is far from benevolent. (the FireFox plugin that was mentioned recently comes to mind) But really when you want to update your system you've got to run all these software updaters individually and it's just incredibly time consuming not to mention that some of them like the Sun Java JRE installs it's own resident update agent adding yet another process to the system. (the install shield update manager is another, LiveUpdate from Symantec also) All these resident update agents just bog the system down with additional unnecessary processes so some type of central update agent could clean this up.

Also hardware updates as well, I usually check for hardware updates on my systems about every six months and it's a real nuisance. Before anyone says it, yes I've seen many instances of suggested hardware updates from MS that didn't work / caused anything from minor to major problems on the given system. MS would have to do a way, way better job with hardware updates than they do now.

I realize that there are several commercial services that do just this but I'm stubborn and won't pay for something like this that I can do myself. Also I have four computers and these services would not allow me to update all four systems for a single fee and I'm not paying for this service times four.

Re:That's a lot of patches (3, Insightful)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274653)

I've seen Ubuntu ask to install a list of updates longer then my johnson

And probably 90% of them were 120KB libraries, which MS updates but doesn't list.

Is it the new fad to spell "Ubuntu" wrong? It's not that difficult. Add it to Firefox's dictionary if you have to.

Re:That's a lot of patches (1)

Nakor BlueRider (1504491) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274959)

Keep in mind also that those updates can often be actual upgrades -- new features for example -- and not have anything to do with bugs or security flaws. While MS occasionally does this as well, the article above specifically refers to 31 vulnerabilities.

Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274249)

That number of bugs rather scares me. I depend on Windows for playing WoW at home and writing documents at work. Will this kill it?

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (4, Insightful)

powerspike (729889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274277)

Scary good. At least it shows MS is looking for problems, and fixing them as they find them.
If somebody got a full list of bugs / sec updates for linux everymonth (all software), i'm quite sure that "31" would be quite a low number.
Of course MS could ignore them (or some), and come up with a low number, but that wouldn't be in anybodies best interests...

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

maz2331 (1104901) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274449)

Good and bad.

It's good that they crushed a lot of bugs, but I'm used to fast and incremental crushing of bugs on Fedora.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274743)

Yes, I'm not a fan of the once a month patch releases, while it may be beneficial for corporate IT, as an end-user I'd rather have the fixes as soon as they become available.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274767)

Numbers are only part of it, the more important part is how many are critical allowing remote users to execute code on your local machine. On the bright side, they are at least patching them. Of course the stopping of further patching is part of the carrot to force people to open their wallets and fork out more cash to Microsoft for the latest Windows, which of course won't work on their hardware, which means buying a new PC with a new Windows license, and potentially a whole new round of updated versions of software which won't work with the latest Windows.

Ain't it great how Microsoft look after their license holders? It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274789)

Scary good. At least it shows MS is looking for problems, and fixing them as they find them. If somebody got a full list of bugs / sec updates for linux everymonth (all software), i'm quite sure that "31" would be quite a low number. Of course MS could ignore them (or some), and come up with a low number, but that wouldn't be in anybodies best interests...

It's always a shame when people use vulnerability / bug counts as some kind of definitive universal metric. The issues involved are much more complex than a single number score. And while the information can be useful, the simplest use is to debunk zealots' (Windows, Linux, etc.) claims that their software of choice is bug-free or that one particular style of development produces better quality code (if you consider bugs signs of defects that count against your quality metric). And even then, the debate could rage on (which I'll avoid doing as that's not the point right now).

Microsoft producing security patches is an overall good thing. Its a battle that was "won" quite a few years ago. And it's a battle that continues as it takes continued pressure to keep them honest (there is a history of bugs being reported to Microsoft w/out fixes over extended lengths of time). Constant pressure nudges Microsoft to resolve these issues. It's an echo of the bad old days when Microsoft cared little about responding to serious flaws in their products.

Likely it's those echos that probably mislead the masses to assume these numbers meant something that they didn't. Back in those aforementioned bad old days, the bug count outlined largely well-documented and unaddressed flaws. Now days a few of those pop up from time to time (and again - it is more common these days for "responsible disclosure" with commercial vendors to uncover flaws that go unpublished until patch release). But for the most part, those numbers represent issues that are addressed. And that is indeed a victory (bittersweet if you contend that the flaws should never have existed).

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (2, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274415)

That number of bugs rather scares me. I depend on Windows for playing WoW at home and writing documents at work. Will this kill it?

There is no need for that. I run WoW in Wine on FreeBSD, and it runs much faster and more smoothly there than it does natively in Windows.

Granted, customising FreeBSD is perhaps a little above the bullet-dodging capabilities of the average FOSS user, but Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] will still run WoW very agreeably. I'd recommend Kubuntu; I'm a KDE man in terms of the "big two," desktop environments, myself.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274473)

Nobody gives a shit.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274513)

Nobody gives a shit.

Ah, the Anonymous Cowards. I'm starting to think it might be time for Slashdot to retire the ability to make anonymous comments, to be honest; I've noticed ACs becoming even more obnoxious and/or annoying than usual, recently.

Although Ubuntu's numbers on DistroWatch, as well as the amount of forum traffic they get, prove that you're wrong. Plenty of people care about it.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274531)

Don't feed the troll, assclown.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

Moebius_6 (150563) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274571)

Am not AC, and am seconding that. Mistakes were made, patches hae been deployed. It's an arbitrary number of patches, occasionally it will be the highest number. Does firefox work? Great, who cares what OS it is as long as it's patched?

Oh fsm, did I just feed a troll?

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274737)

I like AC's, there's not enough humor in this world and AC's fill it.

Re:Scary Good or Scary Bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274951)

Agreed. I never understood why so many people would foam at the mouth whenever other people mispell Ubuntu. Even saying "Ubuntu" remnds me of an ape beating his chest and saying "ooo-OOO-ooo."

I hope that some people don't project their racism onto this post. Ubuntu is an African word but African males have nothing to do with this. There are differences between apes and blacks. Subtle differences, yes, but differences nonetheless as defined by H.P. Lovecraft, the foremost authority of ethnic Africans and Jews.

That being said, Ubuntu is my favorite distro and I've used Suse, Red Hat, IRIX, classic Mac OS as well as OSX, and of course MS operating systems since the DOS days.

I'm sure they could do better (5, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274273)

Next tuesday they could double that amount with the right attitude...

Re:I'm sure they could do better (0, Offtopic)

Centurix (249778) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274363)

Christ alive, this was marked troll before it refreshed after I posted it! Steady on with that Troll mod Windows users, it's like a loaded gun.

Re:I'm sure they could do better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274709)

in honor of your downmodded posts, i offer this great MS quote:

"and even Macs if you have them."

haha right there you have it, they do acknowledge the existence of Macs.

Re:I'm sure they could do better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274669)

How is parent troll? There are definitely more bugs to fix in Windows than 31.

Re:I'm sure they could do better (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#28275003)

Next tuesday they could double that amount with the right attitude...

They couldn't, but you can. Time to blow the dust off your father's trusted debugger!

at least... (0, Offtopic)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274279)

Well, at least they *are* disclosing and patching. But then again, I switched to linux back during Win98.

sub-prime vulnerabilities (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274291)

When is it going to collapse and bankrupt Microsoft?

M-M-M-M-M-onster Patch! (n/t) (4, Funny)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274323)

Apparently I need to have some text in the comment.

Re:M-M-M-M-M-onster Patch! (n/t) (5, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274595)

I was working on the PC late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For bug on windows began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

THEY DID THE PATCH
They did the monster patch
THE MONSTER PATCH
It was a vulnerability smash
THEY DID THE PATCH
They caught them in a flash
THEY DID THE PATCH
They did the monster patch

From my computer seat in the office east
To the master Ballmer where the vampires feast
The faults all came from their humble abodes
To get a jolt from my electrodes

THEY DID THE PATCH
They did the monster patch
THE MONSTER PATCH
It was a vulnerability smash
THEY DID THE PATCH
They caught them in a flash
THEY DID THE PATCH
They did the monster patch ...and so on. I only really wanted to say that your comment made me sing that song, but really it is way longer than I care to do a half-assed parody.

Re:M-M-M-M-M-onster Patch! (n/t) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274629)

He did the patch
He did the monster patch
The monster patch
It was a graveyard smash
He did the patch
It caught on in a flash
He did the patch
He did the monster patch

etc

Now someone do it properly

Microsoft is too big to fail (4, Insightful)

shanen (462549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274341)

Microsoft has become a single point of failure that poses and unacceptably enormous risk to our society's normal functioning. Consider it in light of the birthday paradox. Even if each failure is 99% safe, sooner or later we're going to have a major Warhol Worm that brings the entire Internet to its knees--along with large portions of the world's economy. Actually, I'd wager that the NSA already has the capability, and probably several other state actors, too.

Massive monoculture is always dangerous. The dinosaurs seemed incredibly successful, too, but too many of them were too similar--and look what happened. In diversity there is strength.

I'm not saying we should kill Microsoft. Just cut it up into four or five small pieces, give each of them a copy of the source code, and tell them to run with it. No non-public communications permitted, and let the customers actually have the MEANINGFUL freedom to pick and choose. Not only will there be more pressure to produce new versions, but within a few versions we'll have enough diversity to prevent totally massive fails.

Point of clarification: I'm not arguing against standards--but they need to be open and agreed upon, not imposed by and for the sake of monopoly.

Mod parent up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274419)

Damm. Wish I still had those mod points. This guy is right.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274423)

While I agree that the Windows monocultire is a bad thing, I think it's important to remember that you could kill every single Windows machine in the world and most of the infrastructure than runs the internet would keep humming along quite happily. What's at risk is primarily desktops and corporate (intranet) servers. Losing these machines would be bad, but "brings the entire Internet to its knees" is an exaggeration. Admins would just cut off the infected machines and keep going.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (4, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274503)

Acknowledged. I should clarify that I am thinking of a Warhol Worm that includes a rooted backdoor for a large-scale DDoS attack. We've already had plenty of problems with zombots around 10^4, but imagine the hassles of a 10^7 zombot... I don't think it would be possible to simply cut the infected machines off the net, but rather it would be necessary to partition the entire network and rebuild in pieces.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274757)

Why is it these days that when I see the words "too big to fail" attached to a company that I automatically imagine it is secretly burning down from within?

It's not a few compromised hosts. It's several millions under the control of no more than ten people. Any one of them could sht down the Internet, and would if they saw a profit in it.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (3, Funny)

shanen (462549) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274457)

To the spineless cowardly censorious moron with the negative mod points:

Exactly what part of the post were you unable to understand? If you don't ask questions, you'll just continue being a bloody ignorant twit.

And your mother wore army boots, too.

However, I do thank you for your additional evidence of the quality of most of the moderation on /.--but it was scarcely needed. I've pretty much given up looking for funny or witty posts these days. A moderation of +5 funny apparently means that some moderators recognized at least one of the traditional 'funny' memes in the post.

Me? I've quit playing the moderation game and opted out of moderation long ago. If /. wasn't so poorly programmed, I suppose that might exempt my posts from moderation. Something like 'judge not and be not judged'?

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274607)

Yes, fortunately this has only been done to Unix so far (Morris worm).

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (4, Informative)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274659)

Massive monoculture is always dangerous. The dinosaurs seemed incredibly successful, too, but too many of them were too similar--and look what happened. In diversity there is strength.

In numbers there is strength as well. There is quite some evidence that birds are the living direct descendants of the dinosaurs - and in a way I have always been puzzled on how it would be possible that all dinosaurs would become extinct but other types of animals (mammals, crocodiles) not. Dinosaurs were often huge animals, so relative few numbers before the earth is full. That is more likely to have been their undoing. When 90% gets killed, finding a mate becomes really hard due to the huge distance between individuals.

Windows is so huge in numbers that it is almost impossible to extinct. Almost always there will be some Windows computers surviving somewhere, forgotten on grandma's table, not connected to the Internet even maybe and happily moving on alone. It is impossible to wipe them all out, there are too many of them.

OS/2 is virtually extinct - some installations hanging on for dear life but there were so few of them... BeOS saw the same fate... and so there are more. Dead branches on the tree of evolution, they could not multiply sufficiently to weather the competition.

Windows is of course at risk of disease: all individuals are so similar they can easily infect one another. Some have better immune systems (firewalls, more patches installed) and may survive longer - they may even survive the main onslaught and survive the virus which itself may die out due to not enough hosts left to infect. That is after all what happened to the Spanish Flue: this strain disappeared because in the end all hosts were either immune or had died. There were virtually no fresh hosts available for the virus to survive.

Linux is reaching sufficient numbers now to also be impossible to become extinct, and add to that the large diversity in systems giving the species great immunity. Yes some groups may be vulnerable to a certain virus, others will be immune and sit out the disease. Then the ones killed by the virus will be replaced by new, immune systems and the species as a whole becomes stronger.

At the moment actually I can not think of other operating systems that are as diverse as the Linux platform. BSD is a candidate but only three major flavours available. Windows certainly is no candidate, it's all the same.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274921)

Back in the days of the Microsoft worms there was no default firewall and many default network exposed services, find one flaw in something and you could infect pretty much every other Windows machine on the net. They learned from that, and now there's very little chance of a machine being infected unless the machine calls out, either it's checking mail, browsing the web or whatever. Diversification is overrated, pretty much all *nix boxes use OpenSSL so how's that not a major monoculture? Or Apache for web hosting? Find me a remote exploit in the default config with no login info and you'll see full-blown panic in no time. Except that you don't. Nor has there been a major IIS security issue for ages either.

Computers don't act randomly. You minimize the contact area, analyze the heck out of it until you're really, really sure that it's correct with formal proof if you damn well please and then it will act that way. Always. Making five clones only gives you the chance to implement a bug five times more. And if it's really more sensitive than that, there's always firewalling off those entire networks. Code does not travel by magic, in short unless there's a secret port knock the NSA can do to make Windows bring down its own defenses it's not going to happen. Not anymore than I think you can break my Linux box.

Re:Microsoft is too big to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28275021)

You saying Microsoft = Ma Bell?

Even Macs? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274369)

"You've got to work everywhere, servers and workstations, and even Macs if you have them."

I don't have Microsoft Office on my Mac.

Fuck you and your dumbass comment that tries to make Mac OS X look as insecure as Windows.

Re:Even Macs? (3, Informative)

TSHTF (953742) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274391)

Apple isn't much better. The official security fixes [apple.com] in Safari 4.0, released yesterday, are for a total of _47_ vulnerabilities. Microsoft has a long way to go.

Re:Even Macs? (1, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274467)

Apple isn't much better. The official security fixes in Safari 4.0, released yesterday, are for a total of _47_ vulnerabilities. Microsoft has a long way to go.

It looks like almost half the vulnerabilities listed are only for the Windows version of Safari, which means it's probably a matter of Apple having to clean up after Microsoft's bad security practices. Trying to write secure software is a PITA when the OS is fighting you at every turn.

Re:Even Macs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28275023)

Or that the fixes are included as part of the OS's updates on OS X. Safari on Windows ships with libraries that the OS X version doesn't have because they're already there for it to use, so any patch related to those libraries will count as part of a Safari update on Windows but not OS X.

The positive side of the Borg icon (4, Insightful)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274383)

Squashing 31 vulnerabilities in a single patch, is, in a word, efficient. "Embrace and extend," might be a negative part of the Borg ethos, but I give Microsoft credit for displaying the positive side of it, as well. ;-)

How many, really. (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274385)

- It's not getting any better, the number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow. Meaning the ones they don't disclose grows until something like this looks like a bunch were found and fixed at once.

MS planting crippleware? (-1, Flamebait)

dan of the north (176417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274417)

Doesn't MS have a long and (not so) glorious history of planting 'features' into their end-of-life code?

Vulnerabilities? (4, Insightful)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274433)

Vulnerabilities? What does this word mean? "31 vulnerabilities, including 18 bugs marked as critical."

In my mind a bug and a vulnerability are 2 different things, one englobing the other.

Let me get this straight ... if you're telling me my computer has a "vulnerability", it means I got chances to get a notepad.exe application start out of nowhere with the words "I've hax0r Ur C8mput8r" or something in my face.

Reading the article I don't know if it's some random critical bug in some MS application, or if it depends of me running a service in X or Y situation and the attacker is in the intranet or whatever, or if I need to go to a very *very* untrusted site that even Avast! won't let me do to get attacked ... please be specific!

Every month or so there is such articles about MS patches ... hell, let's do this with every god-damn software patches around? With Ubuntu you get to install patches every week also! Heck, the Java upgrader thingy pops-up every month too.

What does "vulnerabilities" mean, in this context, seriously? Am I in danger?

Re:Vulnerabilities? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274521)

Let's put it this way: I saw a drive by download on a fully patched Vista SP2 machine with IE8 on Friday. If the user had been in the admin group, it could have been owned. Now with http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS09-025.mspx [microsoft.com] I'm not so sure (why does it say valid creds are needed? Could a drive-by exploit it?).

Re:Vulnerabilities? (3, Informative)

zonky (1153039) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274693)

If the user had UAC disabled, they w/could have been owned. Being in the admin group on Vista shouldn't in itself allow a drive by to write files outside the user's home folders. Same if you were running safari with sudo on OSX, or Firefox as root on Linux. Any user running as admin/root is a fool. Of course, if the code you do run in your drive by download can hit a privilege escalation vulnerability on the os, all bets are off....

Re:Vulnerabilities? (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274995)

A bug is something not working as intended. Slashdot's rendering on standards compliant browsers for example.
A vulnerability is something that can be exploited by a third party for example to crash, hang or invade your machine.

That in itself doesn't really tell you much, is it locally or remotely exploitable, do you need valid logins, user action etc. which means it can range from trivial to critical. If you want the details, you need to read the details... that is to say MS security bulletins.

This explains the update warning at work (1)

ErikInterlude (784049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274459)

I work in a department that uses mostly Macs (the rest of the company using PCs, as would be expected). Since we mostly use Macs, and since our IT people have explicitly stated they don't service Macs, we were a little confused when an email went around saying not to update our systems until IT had a chance to clear it. Obviously it was never meant for my department, but given the breadth of fixes, I'm wondering what kind of hell IT will catch if the Sales or Admin departments get updated and find applications broken.

Has anyone had anything break from this update, or has it been smooth sailing?

Re:This explains the update warning at work (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274557)

Has anyone had anything break from this update, or has it been smooth sailing?

Well, at first everything seemed fine but then ÙS ØÙÙSÙÙ... ØÙØØÙÙS ÙØØÙر ÙØØØ¦Ø ØÙØÙØØ®ØØØØ ØÙÙÙSØØÙSØ© ØÙÙØÙØÙÙSØ© ØÙØÙS ØØØØ ÙÙ...ØÙØØ© ØØØÙÙ ÙÙÙ 14 ØØØر ÙØÙÙ...ØØÙÙÙSÙ ØØÙØÙØÙ

Re:This explains the update warning at work (1)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274651)

I work in a department that uses mostly Macs (the rest of the company using Windows, as would be expected). Since we mostly use Macs, and since our IT people have explicitly stated they don't service Macs, we were a little confused when an email went around saying not to update our systems until IT had a chance to clear it. Obviously it was never meant for my department, but given the breadth of fixes, I'm wondering what kind of hell IT will catch if the Sales or Admin departments get updated and find applications broken.

Has anyone had anything break from this update, or has it been smooth sailing?

This is a good thing (4, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274505)

We already know Windows has vulnerabilities and that there are exploits in the wild. The design isn't going to magically change. So the fact that we're getting more patches is a good thing. We can't whine when we don't get patches then whine when we do! My only question is do these patches break any existing functionality, and if so is this clearly documented?

Re:This is a good thing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274853)

We can't whine when we don't get patches then whine when we do!

I disagree. Yes we can.

Re:This is a good thing (3, Interesting)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274869)

A proper patch would imho only be able to break existing functionality if:

  • it changes the behaviour of a publicly documented API (it shouldn't but it can be documented),
  • the software providing the functionality uses an undocumented API or uses a bug workaround, the first it shouldn't do in the first place and the second is up for debate whether it's good to do or not.

Changing a documented API should happen only between OS version changes, the second is more likely. And considering the number of bugs and undocumented API calls included in Windows that may well be a serious issue. Documenting the patch will never warn one of these issues: the undocumented API calls are, well, undocumented so technically they do not exist, and it is impossible to know beforehand which bug workarounds there are in software, if any.

So assuming MS writes their patches properly, no documented functionality will change. It may change to what the documents say it does, it may internally change giving the same end result - so no matter the documentation, testing would be the only way to make sure that your specific set of third-party or in-house software still works.

And I'm sure the above accounts for open source software as much as it does for closed source.

This is either good or bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274523)

the number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow.'

This is either good or bad. I cannot tell without knowing the history of their disclosure to (stuck in the pipeline) ratio.

Apple Safari Jumbo Patch 50+ Vulnerabilities Fixed (5, Insightful)

BSDetector (1056962) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274661)

So where is the Slashdot article on the following? It's as current as the Microsoft article from ZDNet! I guess as long as it puts Apple in a bad light - it gets ignored or even censored. But if it can be interpreted as Microsoft=BAD then let's up the font size and BOLD the headers!

"Apple Safari Jumbo Patch 50+ Vulnerabilities Fixed" - http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=3541/ [zdnet.com]

Hypocrites!

Re:Apple Safari Jumbo Patch 50+ Vulnerabilities Fi (2, Interesting)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274861)

And that makes you a troll - you're comparing updates that affect a single browser, compared to this story, of updates that affect an entire platform.

The only Apple bias here is coming from you.

Re:Apple Safari Jumbo Patch 50+ Vulnerabilities Fi (2, Insightful)

BSDetector (1056962) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274925)

So in your math - a single product that has 50 patches is "better" than 10 updates/31 vulnerabilities for an entire platform? In an ideal world - there would be 0 bugs but since we don't live in an ideal world then ALL platforms - including your beloved MAC - will always be rife with issues. Of course you can't ever see that or admit that - when it comes to Apple/MAC's.

5 critical updates for me (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274741)

I am currently using Windows Vista, that was, as of 1 week ago, up to date. I am also using IE 8. I have Office 2003 on this machine. I have automatic updates turned off as I do them weekly and like to see what it coming in.

After reading the headline here I instantly closed firefox, opened IE and did my updates (and for Office too). 5 were listed critical. There were a total of 9 updates and some of those were for hardware.

Reading the article does not offer clarity but I suspect that this includes updates for different OS'es, different versions of Office and different versions of IE. The sentence "work everywhere, servers and workstations, and even Macs" implies that these were updates involving every category of software Microsoft makes.

While even 5 critical updates are too many, I really wish the article had touched on how many critical updates would be required for Vista, with IE 8 and Office 2007 (the newest version). Although I am sure greed is the larger reason, Microsoft has been trying to stop selling XP for about 2 years now but still continue to update it (and will be for some time I am sure). When talking about security my expectation is that you will be using the laterst versions of Linux (pick your vendor), Windows, Apple software or even BSD. If you aren't, you wear some of the burden of responsibility as well as the OS when problems arise.

I distrust MS as much as the next guy (as I said, I manually do my windows updates BUT set the updates to run automatically in Ubuntu), but I really wish people didn't go out of the way to make MS look bad when they do a fine job of that on their own. I have it when MS spouts Linux FUD too.

Re:5 critical updates for me (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274777)

I agree with you to a point. Making MS look bad is fine. Personally, the company's arrogance is outstanding. When the Linux community criticizes MS, they aren't spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt but simply telling the truth as it is. FUD is a unqiuely Microsoft way of doing things. If you distrust Microsoft so much, why do you run Windows when you can do almost everything you have to do in open source? Personally, I use PCBSD and it does everything I need it to do and then some.

Why is this news again? (0, Troll)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274753)

The 2nd largest software company in the world with more installed software on personal computers than anyone else on the planet. More software, more to patch and update. Sweet, simple logic that anyone who has ever really worked with computers understands. Still, this is a good opportunity for jealous Linux children to point and laugh while their software, which some have dedicated their lives to, goes largely unnoticed.

poem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274793)

Ah jeez comparing linux to windows please
we try to compare but do we dare
they will always be two different peas

they are both OSes,
and windows will always need patches
and the year of the linux desktop...we'll never see!

Play Nice /. (2, Insightful)

rxan (1424721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274799)

It's not getting any better, the number of vulnerabilities [Microsoft discloses] continues to grow.

That's quite the underhanded comment there. Insulting Microsoft while showing that they are improving their software at the same time. Nice!

pan-MS patch (1, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274801)

Before you fanboys and trollboys come out of the woodwork, realize that this is across ALL the stuff - your precious Ubuntu or BSD would never have this many, simply because a distro is not also a browser, office suite, etc. It certainly isn't controlled and managed by the same group.

btw posting this from an Ubuntu machine, which just pulled down 10 updates.

Re:pan-MS patch (3, Informative)

CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274977)

You're probably a troll, but in case you're simply misguided or poorly informed:

[R]ealize that this is across ALL the stuff - your precious Ubuntu or BSD would never have this many, simply because a distro is not also a browser, office suite, etc.

The point of a distro is that it comes bundled with lots of software. It usually does include a browser, an office suite, an image editor, and more.

It certainly isn't controlled and managed by the same group.

The purpose of a distribution is to have everything managed by a single group. Sure, most -- if not all -- software comes from upstream, but the same single group does manage all of the packaging and updates for the users of said distribution.

btw posting this from an Ubuntu machine, which just pulled down 10 updates.

If you really are posting from an Ubuntu machine, then you should know that the updater will update everything installed by default, and everything installed after-the-fact through the package manager. All other things being equal, distributions like Ubuntu should be expected to have more updates than Windows/Office/IE alone.

Futile Comparison (1, Insightful)

Bunzinator (1105885) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274819)

It always amuses me when people see M$ patching a bunch of vulns, and then make a comment like 'But Umbuntu (sic) is much worserer! It patched ( m$_vulns + 10 ) this month!'... or vice versa.

With Linux distos, you can pretty much count on the count being pretty much accurate, due to the defacto auditing that occurs as a function of the open source methodology.

In comparison, M$'s counts are basically meaningless, unless you are one of those gullible fanbois who believe M$ would never lie. Ever.

It's all about disclosure. Disclosure in open source is real, disclosure by the likes of M$ and Apple is pretty much based on what makes them look the best in the marketplace.
 

Re:Futile Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274839)

Can you please use a few more dollar signs when you post? Right now you're at the point where I simply dismiss whatever you're saying. But verily, if you use a few dozen more, I'll start to think you're just disabled and take your opinion seriously in the name of equality and progress.

Re:Futile Comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28274929)

Plenty of worthwhile posts use M$. Just because it's an old joke doesn't mean you should dismiss the text. The reasons for writing M$ have not changed.

Oh joy! (5, Funny)

Errtu76 (776778) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274885)

Microsoft. Windows. Updates. Patches. On slashdot?

*quickly gets the popcorn and F5's the comments*

Oh good one!

*munch munch*

hahahaha funny

*munch*

ooooo

*munch munch*

So what? (1)

Velorium (1068080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28274935)

Well if they're being fixed what's the problem? If nobody knew about them in the first place and they're spotting them and resolving them, who the hell cares?

unethical technology (4, Funny)

Horar (521864) | more than 4 years ago | (#28275015)

A computer consultant advocating Windows is like a doctor prescribing cigarettes. It creates a lot of extra work.

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