Microsoft issued three security patches yesterday, once again coming through on its fall 2003 promise to give its customers regularly scheduled security updates rather than randomly releasing patches as they're finished. The patches apply to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, as well as Windows, but only the ISA Server 2000 patch is rated critical. In addition, the company has reissued a security patch for various Windows versions; Microsoft describes this patch as "important."
"Microsoft is committed to helping customers keep their information safe, and releasing security bulletins on a regular schedule makes security response more predictable and easier to manage," a company spokesman reported yesterday. The new patches include:
- ISA Server 2000 (critical)--fixes a vulnerability that could let malicious code run on a user's system
- Exchange 2003 (moderate)--fixes a vulnerability that could let a Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) user randomly access another user's mailbox
- Windows (important)--fixes a vulnerability that could let code run arbitrarily on a user's Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 system
- Windows (important, reissue)--corrects a flaw in the Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai versions of the original patch, which addressed a buffer-overrun problem, and applies to various Windows 2003, XP, Win2K, and Windows NT 4.0 systems in the language versions listed
Microsoft didn't issue a patch for a newly discovered Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) vulnerability called "phish" that an intruder could exploit to fool users into providing credit card numbers and other personal information. However, Microsoft has reserved the right to issue critical security patches at any time, and certainly this type of vulnerability would fall into that category. Microsoft says it's still working on a fix. In the meantime, you can use Automatic Updates or Windows Update to get any relevant patches or download any recent security updates from the Microsoft Web site.