Microsoft December Patch Tuesday: Prepare to Plug Six Critical Security Holes
Article by George Norman
On 08 Dec 2008
As is the case with Microsoft, each second Tuesday of every month, the Redmond software developer will update their Windows-based operating systems. This month Microsoft has announced that it plans to plug a total of 8 security holes: 6 have been deemed critical and the remaining 2 are only important.

During this month’s update, Microsoft plans to address other issues as well. Microsoft Security Response Center communications manager, Bill Sisk explains: “As we do each month, the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool will be updated. We are also planning to release high-priority, non-security updates on Windows Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) as well as high-priority, non-security updates on Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).”

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Regarding the vulnerabilities, the first thing that you must know is that Microsoft uses a 4 tier classification system: low, moderate, important and critical. A critical vulnerability means that an Internet worm could infect your system, and since the greater part of the December Patch Tuesday vulnerabilities are critical, it is important that you update. Keeping your OS and your software apps updated and fully patched is the only way to stay secure in today’s increasing threatscape.

Just to put things in perspective, the six critical security problems affect the following: Windows OS (including XP and Vista), Internet Explorer, Visual Basic, MSOffice Word and Excel. The other vulnerabilities, the ones that have been deemed important, affect (or afflict) Sharepoint and Windows Media Center (WMC).

The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) will provide more in-depth details regarding the patches that will be released this Patch Tuesday, on the 10th of December, during a live webcast (11 a.m. PST). If you would like to watch the webcast, you must first register here. “We will review this month’s release and take your questions live on-air with answers from our panel of experts. As a friendly reminder, if you can’t make the live webcast, you can listen to it on-demand as well at the same URL. In addition, we’ll also be posting the text of the questions and answers from each month’s webcast. You can see a full listing of the posted questions and answers on this page,” says Bill Sisk.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Patch Tuesday
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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