Technical Hiccup Delays Microsoft Patches

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2006-10-11 Email Print this article Print

Updated: An internal snafu delays the release of the software giant's latest round of security patches, which aimed to fix an array of critical flaws in Windows and Office.

Microsoft was unable to offer immediate access to its monthly collection of security patches as a result of a procedural issue in distributing the content to users Oct. 10.

While the company appears to have remedied the situation, at the time that the security fixes were first released the software giant was forced to inform users that they would not be able to get their hands on the patches via its automated distribution methods.

A company spokesperson said the delay was caused by unspecified networking issues in Microsoft's patch allocation systems, which have now been remedied, and that there were no problems with the security updates themselves.

"Due to technical difficulties experienced on the Microsoft Update platform, security updates released today are not currently available via Microsoft Update, Automatic Updates, Windows Server Update Services or Windows Update v6," the company said in a message posted to its security bulletin Web site.

The post was later removed from the site, and there were no further reports of users having trouble consuming this month's patches.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company has thus far also avoided the need to re-release any of the security bulletins to address additional vulnerabilities, as it has been forced to in previous months, most recently in September 2006 when it struggled to close all the known loopholes in its Internet Explorer Web browser.

However, Microsoft was forced to sit on at least one patch, as it had reported earlier this month that it would be issuing 11 security bulletins, versus the 10 that subsequently arrived.

Company spokespeople said that Microsoft found an issue in testing one of the planned Windows Updates that caused it to remove the patch from the release while the software maker puts it through additional testing.

Microsoft plans to make the patch available in the next batch of security bulletins.

Among the 10 updates that were published, including fixes for six critical vulnerabilities—the company's most severe software flaw rating—Microsoft addressed some 26 individual problems, with cumulative releases arriving for its popular PowerPoint, Excel and Office product.

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