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Microsoft has confirmed it will deliver just one security update next Tuesday, namely a fix for PowerPoint which is probably the patch for a month-old bug that developers admitted they missed during stress testing.

The single update, which will be labelled "critical," Microsoft's highest threat ranking, is a big drop from last month, when the company issued eight updates that patched 23 vulnerabilities.

"Last month, Microsoft closed three of the four known outstanding vulnerabilities, and left us only one in-the-public-domain bug," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security. The sole unpatched public flaw was the PowerPoint vulnerability Microsoft acknowledged 2 April in a security advisory that warned of ongoing attacks using rigged presentation files.

"The question, is there a pattern here, have they caught up?" asked Storms. "Could we have hit bottom?"

But he immediately dismissed that idea. "Don't think for a minute that I believe that," Storms said. "Microsoft has done a fantastic job of getting people to report [vulnerabilities] only to them, but that doesn't mean there are no other bugs. Frankly, I expected more than just the one."

As is Microsoft's practice, it released only the most general information about the upcoming security patch in the advance notification it posted on Thursday. Unlike the April security advisory, however, the early warning today noted that PowerPoint 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007 will require patching; the advisory had not painted the newest version, PowerPoint 2007, with the bug brush.


http://www.techworld.com/security/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=115547
 
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