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Microsoft Patches 10 Vulnerabilities, 6 Critical

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-10-10 Print this article Print

The software giant addresses a list of vulnerabilities present in its Windows and Office programs, with six patches released to fix critical issues in both products.

Microsoft released 10 individual security patches on Oct. 10, addressing a handful of critical problems in Office programs along with several equally serious issues in its Windows operating system.

In all, the software maker issued patches for six critical flaws, one important problem, two moderate glitches and one low-priority issue.

The "critical" designation represents the highest severity rating for product security bulletins issued by Microsoft.

As expected, among the security bulletins was a fix meant to address a vulnerability in Windows' so-called shell code which could allow for remote attack execution if exploited.

The flaw, labeled by security researcher as "SetSlice" and first discovered in the Internet Explorer browser, has already become an attack vector for hackers, some of whom have begun distribution of Trojan and rootkit viruses meant to take advantage of the vulnerability.

The Windows Shell vulnerability was first released during security researcher HD Moore's Month of Browser Bugs project in July, and some of the attacks targeting the vulnerability have been launched by a known cyber-crime organization operating out of Russia, according to virus researchers.

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said that the Windows Shell issue is related to improper validation of input parameters when invoked by the software's WebViewFolderIcon ActiveX control.

The company said the vulnerability could allow for remote code execution if a user visited a specially crafted Web site or views a specially crafted e-mail message designed to attack the flaw.

An attacker could also exploit the vulnerability by hosting a Web site that contained a URL that was designed to exploit the issue, and subsequently take complete control of an affected system.

Among the other security bulletins offered by Microsoft is a patch for a set of vulnerabilities in the PowerPoint presentation application in Office which could also lead to remote code execution if exploited.

The company identified four individual issues in the program, including a malformed object pointer issue, a malformed data record flaw, a malformed record memory corruption glitch and a malformed record problem.

Each of the issues affects all of the versions of the program since the Office 2000 iteration of the product, save the malformed object pointer issue, which does not affect PowerPoint 2000, PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2004, but does impact the PowerPoint 2003 release.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Microsoft Patches 10 Vulnerabilities, 6 Critical

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