Patch 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?
MS severity ratingProducts AffectedNotesRandy's recommendation

Arbitrary code

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

Arbitrary code

/ Office Excel
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

Arbitrary code

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

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