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Microsoft Advance Notification for February 2014

***Update as of Monday, February 10, 2014***

Since our post last Thursday, Microsoft has released additional details about tomorrow's bulletins.

Those updates include:

- Added a "Critical" Internet Explorer bulletin requiring a restart.

- Added a "Critical" Windows bulletin affecting Windows XP and higher

With these additions, we are finally getting back to normal with the traditional Microsoft monthly security releases that we saw back in 2013. Last month, Microsoft published a rather light security release which did not include any IE bulletins. It could be that Microsoft is playing catch up this month. Tune in tomorrow for our full analysis.

***Following is the original post ***

The upcoming Microsoft monthly security update scheduled for February 11th will feature patches for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange Server and the .Net Framework. There will be five bulletins of which two are rated "Critical" and three are "Important". The two bulletins rated "Critical" affect Windows and Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server. Based on the nature of these vulnerabilities, these give an attacker remote code execution capabilities.

Since the three "Important" Windows bulletins combined affect a widespread of Windows versions, it's likely that this security release will affect you. Only one bulletin will require a system restart. Unfortunately this is a Windows patch mitigating a denial-of-service vulnerability affecting all versions of Windows from XP to Windows 8.1. To keep a long story short, plan on grabbing a cup of coffee sometime next Tuesday while these systems restart after the patch install. Keep calm and carry on.

Based on the advance notification from Microsoft, there will be no new bulletins for Internet Explorer. This will mark the second month in a row where no Internet Explorer patch will be released. Currently there is no evidence of any Internet Explorer zero-days being exploited in the wild, but this does not mean that Internet Explorer is necessarily vulnerability-free. Unfortunately, all software has flaws and requires administrators to continually update software to keep secure.

We hope you'll visit us again on Tuesday for the full run-down of the security release.

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