Microsoft to release nine bulletins on Tuesday

For the second month running, Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday Advanced Notification includes nine bulletins. This month, five are rated “critical’ and four “important’.

This month is a mixed bag of critical bulletins which affects workstations, browser, server, and productivity products. Bulletin 1 is rated critical and will address Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8. Browser bulletins always deserve attention since client-side browser attacks are the de facto way to compromise corporate networks.

Microsoft Office products have three bulletins dedicated to them. Bulletin 4 is a critical bulletin which looks like it may fix the remaining vulnerabilities in Microsoft XML Core Services. Bulletin 8, rated important, affects Microsoft Office 2007 & 2010.

Bulletin 9 is also rated important and affects Visio 2010. It should be noted that one or more of these Office-related vulnerabilities could also affect Mac users.

Bulletin 5 is one to pay attention to since it addresses a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange. This is interesting from an exploitation standpoint because Exchange servers are usually exposed on the Internet.

When attackers hear “remote code execution on Exchange” it’s music to their ears. They could see potential for remote discovery, remote exploitation and propagation of attacks since Exchange is the epicenter of most organizations’ communications. Email servers are prime targets for exploitation.

Author: Marcus Carey, security researcher at Rapid7.