Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide for February 2019 reveals that there are sixty-one distinct updates and corresponding articles in Microsoft’s support knowledge base.
At least seventy-seven vulnerabilities in Windows, Office, .NET, Internet Explorer, Edge, and Visual Studio are addressed by the updates. Twenty of the updates are flagged as Critical. Included in the updates is a new version of Flash for Internet Explorer and Edge.
As always, the easiest way to update Microsoft software is to use Windows Update, found in the Control Panel or System settings of your version of Windows.
Adobe once again adds to the patching load with new versions of Flash and Reader. Flash 188.8.131.52 addresses a single security vulnerability in earlier versions. The easiest way to check your Flash version and grab an update is to visit the Flash Help page.
Adobe Reader DC 2019.010.20091 includes fixes for at least seventy security bugs in earlier versions. Newer versions of Reader support auto-updates, but you can check for new versions by running Reader, and selecting
Check for Updates from its menu. If there’s a new version available, you’ll be prompted to install it.
It’s the second Tuesday of the month, so it’s once again time to play Patch Or Else, brought to you by Microsoft and Adobe.
It’s easy to get complacent about updating software: diligently installing updates as soon as they become available is an essential part of a good security strategy, and it means you’re less likely to fall afoul of malicious activity. But it also means that after a while you can lose sight of the risk of not staying up to date, and gradually become lax about installing updates. History is filled with stories of lost lessons; it’s apparently in our nature to forget what’s important when we aren’t reminded of the reasons for that importance.
Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide for the December 2018 updates reveals that this month we have sixty-seven distinct updates, half of which are flagged as having Critical severity. The updates address security issues in Adobe Flash (embedded in Internet Explorer and Edge), Internet Explorer, Edge, .NET, Office, Visual Studio, and Windows.
Update Windows and your other Microsoft software via Windows Update. In Windows 10, open the Start Menu and click on
Update & Security settings >
Windows Update. In older versions of Windows, you can find Windows Update in the Control Panel.
Presumably as part of the ongoing push for transparency in response to Windows 10 update problems earlier this year, Microsoft Corporate VP Michael Fortin posted an article, coinciding with this month’s updates, that explains some of the planning that goes into the monthly updates. Fortin points out that “During peak times, we update over 1,000 devices per second”.
Adobe’s contribution to the patch pile this month is a new version of Adobe Reader. The new Reader includes fixes for at least eighty-seven vulnerabilities, many having Critical severity. The release notes for Adobe Reader DC 2019.010.20064 provide additional details. Update Reader by pointing your browser to the Acrobat Reader Download Center.
Released on December 5th, the latest Flash addresses two security vulnerabilities in earlier versions. The security bulletin for Flash 184.108.40.206 provides additional details.
If you’re still using Flash, you should install the new version as soon as possible. If you use a web browser with a Flash plugin enabled, don’t wait: update now. If you’re not sure whether your browser has Flash enabled, visit the Flash Player Help page with that browser. The Help page will detect Flash in your browser, tell you which version is installed, and provide a download link for the latest version.
Web browsers that include their own embedded Flash will be updated via their usual channels: for Microsoft browsers, that means Windows Update. Chrome usually updates itself automatically, but you can trigger an update by navigating its menu to
About Google Chrome.
There’s another new version of Flash: 220.127.116.11. A single Critical security vulnerability is addressed in this version. The vulnerability, when exploited, can allow for arbitrary code execution.
If you’re using a web browser with Flash enabled, you should update it as soon as possible. If you’re not sure whether your browser is enabled for Flash content, head over to the Flash Player Help page. If Flash is installed and enabled in your browser, your Flash version will be shown.
You can install Flash by visiting the main Flash installer page. Make sure to disable all the optional installation checkboxes on that page, or you’ll get unwanted software along with Flash.
As usual, Google Chrome and Microsoft’s browsers, which have their own embedded Flash viewers, are updated separately. Chrome will update itself; Edge and Internet Explorer are updated via the Windows Update service.
This month, we have fifty-six updates from Microsoft. The updates fix security issues in .NET, Office, Internet Explorer, Edge, Microsoft Project, SharePoint, PowerShell, Skype, and Windows. Analysis of the Security Update Guide for this month shows that a total of sixty-three vulnerabilities are addressed by the updates. Twelve of the vulnerabilities are flagged as Critical.
Windows 10 computers will have relevant updates installed automatically over the next few days. Those of you running older versions of Windows that don’t have automatic updates enabled will need to use Windows Update (in the Windows Control Panel) to check for new updates.
Meanwhile, Adobe released new versions of Flash and Reader. Flash 18.104.22.168 addresses a single security vulnerability in earlier versions. Reader DC 2019.008.20081 fixes a single security bug in earlier versions. Adobe software will usually update itself, unless you’ve explicitly disabled its automatic update features.
Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide shows that this month’s updates address sixty-two security vulnerabilities, ranging from Low to Critical in severity, in the usual suspects, namely Edge, .NET, Internet Explorer, Office, and Windows. There are forty-five updates in all.
If you’re looking for a new way to evaluate Microsoft’s monthly patch offerings, I recommend Microsoft Patch Tuesday by security firm Morpheus Labs. It’s a lot less oppressive — and easier to use — than Microsoft’s Security Update Guide.
Adobe’s providing us with a new version of Flash this month. Flash version 22.214.171.124 fixes a single security vulnerability. As usual, the Flash code embedded in Chrome and Microsoft browsers will update itself through Google’s automatic update process and Windows Update, respectively.
It’s update time again.
Analysis of Microsoft’s Security Update Guide shows that this month there are seventy updates for Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, .NET, Edge, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Visual Studio. A total of sixty security bugs are addressed, twenty of which are categorized as Critical.
Adobe, meanhwile, has released new versions of Flash and Acrobat Reader. Flash 126.96.36.199 includes fixes for five security issues, all of which are ranked as Important. Acrobat Reader 2018.011.20058 addresses two Critical security vulnerabilities.
Remember, folks: although updating software is perhaps not the most exciting thing you’ll do today, it’s entirely worthwhile, as it limits the damage that can be done by any stray malware that may find itself on your computer… from that attachment you opened without thinking, or that web site you visited when you accidentally clicked that link.
Adobe and Microsoft have issued their monthly updates for July, so even if you’d rather be doing anything else, you should be patching your computers.
We’ll start with Microsoft. As usual, this month’s Security Update Release bulletin serves as little more than a link to the Security Update Guide (SUG), Microsoft’s labyrinthine replacement for the individual bulletins we used to get.
In my experience, the SUG is much easier to digest in the form of a spreadsheet, so the first thing I do there is click the small
Download link at the right edge of the page, to the right of the Security Updates heading. If you have Excel — or something compatible — installed, you should be able to open it directly.
Once the spreadsheet is loaded, I recommend enabling the Filter option. In Excel 2007, that setting is in the Sort & Filter section of the Data ribbon (toolbar). This makes every column heading a drop-down list, which allow you to select a particular product or platform, and hide everything else.
Analysis of this month’s updates from the SUG spreadsheet shows that there are sixty-two distinct updates, addressing fifty-three security vulnerabilities in Flash, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Edge, Office applications, .NET, and all supported versions of Windows. Seventeen of the updates are flagged as Critical.
As for Adobe, there are updates for Flash (version 188.8.131.52) and Acrobat Reader DC (version 2018.011.20055). The Flash update fixes two vulnerabilities, one of which is Critical. The Acrobat Reader DC update includes fixes for over one hundred security bugs.
The June 2018 Security Update Release bulletin on Microsoft’s TechNet blog is almost devoid of useful information, but if you click the link to the Security Update Guide, then click the big Go To Security Update Guide button, you’ll see a link to the release notes for this month’s updates.
According to the release notes, this month’s updates affect Internet Explorer, Edge, Windows, Office, Office Services and Web Apps, Flash embedded in IE and Edge, and ChakraCore. Analysis of the information in the SUG reveals that there are forty updates, fixing fifty-one separate vulnerabilities. Eleven of the vulnerabilties are flagged as Critical.
On June 7, Adobe released a new version of Flash, which addresses four vulnerabilities in earlier versions. One of those vulnerabilities is being exploited right now, mostly by way of Office documents attached to email.
The security bulletin for Flash 184.108.40.206 provides additional details.
If you’re using Flash, and in particular if you use a web browser in which Flash is enabled, you should update Flash as soon as possible. On Windows systems, you can do that by going to the Windows Control Panel, then clicking the Flash component. In the Flash Player Settings Manager, go to the
Updates tab and click
Check Now. That will take you to the official About Flash page, where you can check whether Flash is currently installed, see which version is installed, and download the latest version. Depending on your browser configuration, you may have to click the small gray rectangle to the right of the introductory text, then confirm that you want to allow Flash content to play.
As usual, browsers with embedded Flash (Edge, Chrome, Internet Explorer) will get the new version via their own update mechanisms.