Microsoft Patches 26 Flaws, Warns of Zero-Day Attack

Microsoft today released updates to plug at least 26 separate security holes in its Windows operating systems and related software. At the same time, Microsoft has issued a stopgap fix for a newly-discovered flaw that attackers are actively exploiting.

The security fixes are included in seven security patch bundles, three of which earned Microsoft’s most dire “critical” label, signifying that attackers can exploit them without any help on the part of the user.  Redmond patched vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet ExplorerDynamics AXMicrosoft Lync(Microsoft’s enterprise instant message software), and the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Microsoft called out two patches as particularly important: the Internet Explorer bundle (MS12-037), which addresses 13 issues; and a critical flaw in the Windows remote desktop protocol (RDP). Updates are available for all supported versions of Windows, via Windows Update or Automatic Update.

In a separate advisory published today, Microsoft warned that it is aware of active attacks that leverage a vulnerability in Microsoft XML Core Services 3.0., 4.0, 5.0. and 6.0. This is a browse-and-get-owned flaw that can be triggered when an Internet Explorer user on any supported version of Windows visits a specially crafted Web page. Microsoft does not have an official patch available yet for this flaw, but it has issued a FixIt tool workaround that effectively disables the vulnerable component. The vulnerability was discovered by Google, which said it saw the flaw being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks.

A summary of the patches released today — with links to the individual patch advisories — is available here. As always, if you experience any issues applying these patches, please sound off in the comments below.

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