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Big Microsoft “Patch Tuesday” This Month

February 7th, 2005

Microsoft is set to unleash a flurry of patches during this month’s Patch Tuesday. 13 new patches will be released, including several critical and highly critical updates. The sheer number of patches should be enough overwhelm all but the most patch-ready network and server administrators, which should be both a blessing and a curse.

The set of releases is part of Microsoft’s regularly scheduled monthly security update cycle, and is one of the biggest in months. Included in the bundle of updates will be pro-active patching for Microsoft’s Sharepoint Services, Microsoft Office, an “important” upgrade to the .NET Framework and several critical updates for software ranging form MSN Messenger and Windows Media Player to Office and Visual Studio.

Thankfully, IT administrators did receive advanced warning of the patches in the notification email posted to the TechNet web site. The company has adopted a schedule of releasing security patches in batches on the second Tuesday of each month.

Details on this month´s patches will not be available until they are released Tuesday.

Microsoft plans to host a webcast at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday to outline technical details of the updates, followed by a question-and-answer session. This month´s webcast has been extended by an hour to allow for extra question-and-answer time.

While patching is certainly necessary, and this month’s series of proactive patches to vulnerabilities that hadn’t yet been announced is undoubtedly a good thing, critics and security experts are already waving the flag that any company which needs to issue so many alerts can’t have a proper handle on the security issues behind their software.

Ultimately, time will tell, however I’m sure we’d rather have patched than unpatched software – though we’d also rather have software that doesn’t need patched at all I’m sure.


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