Patch Tuesday Analysis for March 2010

Both of this month's patches address vulnerabilities that are likely targets for bad guys to produce exploit code that works consistently although there are no current exploits known. Both Bulletins are rated important and since how-to details for exploiting these vulnerabilities is not yet public and no reports of actual attacks, at this time, we recommend doing your standard testing before deployment. 

MS10-016 impact Movie Maker and Producer. There is no patch for Microsoft Producer, the workarounds are recommended for this product. This means at least disabling the file association. Or at most there is a workaround to prevent Producer from being installed or run. Install the patch for the other products. Windows 7 is in both the affected and non-affected sections. A note indicates that the vulnerability is in an optional download of Movie Maker 2.6 for Windows 7.

MS10-017 addresses 7 vulnerabilities in Office for both Windows and Mac. The workarounds offered, while helpful, do not address all of the vulnerabilities and are not comprehensive for all vectors. Users cannot be relied upon to make the right decision when opening downloaded files. An educational program helps in this area. A virus scan might catch the malicious file if the policy is in force. But we recommend applying the patch for defense-in-depth. 

Update for 3/30/2009 - Out of Band Patch 

MS10-018 addresses multiple Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. One of them is publicly disclosed and being exploited. The publicly disclosed one does not affect IE8 so if you are running anything other than IE8 we recommend an accelerated testing and patching schedule. Don’t just wait until next month. Microsoft recommends applying this update for Internet Explorer, even if you don’t think you’re using it. That’s because Windows and 3rd party applications may use IE (For example Outlook can display a web page if it is configured that way.) It appears Office for MAC is not affected since it does not use IE.

BulletinExploit Types
/Technologies Affected
System Types AffectedExploit
details public?
/ Being exploited?
Comprehensive,
practical
workaround
available?
MS severity ratingProducts AffectedNotesRandy's recommendation
MS10-016

975561
Arbitrary code

/ Movie Maker
Workstations
No/NoYesImportant XP
Vista
Windows 7
Producer 2003
Restart may be req'd; No patch for ProducerPatch after testing; Apply workaround(s) for Producer
MS10-017

980150
Arbitrary code

/ Office Excel
Workstations
Terminal Servers
No/NoNoImportant Office XP
Office 2003
Office 2007
Office 2004 for Mac
Office 2008 for Mac
Open XML Format Converter Mac
Excel Viewer
Office Sharepoint Server 2007
Office Converter Pack
Multiple vulnerabilitiesPatch after testing
MS10-018

980182
Arbitrary code

/ Internet Explorer
Workstations
Terminal Servers
Yes/YesNoCritical Win2000
XP
Win2003
Vista
Win2008
Windows 7
Win2008 R2
Restart Req'dPatch after minimal testing

Receive Randy's same-day, independent analysis each Patch Tuesday

Email:
We will not share your address. Unsubscribe anytime. 

"Thank you. I am very glad I subscribed to this newsletter.  Relevant content clearly and concisely. Finally!!!"

- John K.

"I really like the Fast Facts on this Month's Microsoft Security Bulletins. Do you keep old copies? If yes, please let me know how I can access them?"

-Susan D.

"Thanks, Randy. Your regular updates have streamlined my monthly patching. Much appreciated,"

-  Steve T.

"Really appreciate your patch observor. In the corporate IT world, anything we can get our hands on that speeds the process of analyzing threats and how they may or may not apply to our environments is a God-send. Thanks so much for your efforts."

- Tess G.

"Many thanks for this Randy"

- Roger G.

"The chart is a REAAALLY good idea :)"

- Phil J.

"I like the table. Your insight is very valuable. "

Tom C.

"I liked your high level overview of patches in the table. There are so many sources of patch information which can be very specific or surrounded by other stuff that it’s refreshing to get everything summarised like this. The “Randy’s Recommendation” comment is useful starting point too. Please keep up the good work."

- David A.

"Your Patch Tuesday Observer is a very good tool in making the decision whether to patch or not to patch. And also to patch asap or to wait a while before patching. Also I do think the use of the table is realy improving the readability of the provided information."

- Gerard T.