Category Archives: Patches and updates

New patch for Java plugs recently-discovered security hole

Much to their credit, Oracle has released a patch for Java that fixes a recently-discovered security hole in Java.

CERT confirms that the new patch does indeed resolve the problem. All Java users – and that’s you, unless you’re absolutely certain Java is disabled – should apply this update as soon as possible. This affects Windows, Linux and MacOS users.

This is a welcome reaction from Oracle. Until this patch was released, it was assumed that the hole would not be fixed until the next regular patch cycle in October 2012.

Opera 12.02 released

A new version of the Opera web browser was announced today. Version 12.02 includes some security fixes, as well as some other minor changes.

The Opera blog post announcing version 12.02 also describes a way to avoid potential problems with the recently-announced Java security hole. It involves changing an Opera setting that forces the user to ‘click to play’ for any content provided by a plugin (including Java). With this setting enabled, if you visit a site infected with a Java exploit, the exploit code won’t run unless you specifically allow it. While possibly overkill, this is as good a workaround as we can expect, at least until Oracle issues a fix for the Java hole.

Firefox 15 released

Another new version of Firefox was announced today. Version 15 includes some new features, like silent updates (which I will immediately disable), and some fixes for long-standing plugin memory use issues.

The Firefox release notes for version 15 have all the changes.

Interestingly, there doesn’t seem to be a list of previous Firefox versions or the corresponding release notes anywhere on the site. But you can find the release notes for a version by replacing ‘15.0’ with any other version number in this URL:
http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/15.0/releasenotes/.

Another new version of Adobe Flash

Yesterday, in yet another attempt to finally get it right, Adobe announced a new minor release of its ubiquitous (and problematic) Flash player for all platforms. The new release takes us from the 10.3 series to 10.4.

Additional details are available in the in the related Security Bulletin.

As usual, the new version addresses security issues that could lead to attacks on systems running older versions. It also includes a few new features; the release notes cover all the changes.

Windows and Mac users should update to the new version (11.4.402.265) as soon as possible. Attacks based on this vulnerability are spreading fast on the Internet.

Updates for Adobe Flash, Shockwave and Acrobat Reader

Adobe issued several new bulletins today.

First up is Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader. Adobe security bulletin APSB12-16 announces Reader and Acrobat versions 10.1.4 and 9.5.2, which address a specific crashing problem that could allow an attacker to gain control of affected computers.

Next is Adobe security bulletin APSB12-17. This bulletin announces version 11.6.6.636 of Shockwave. Once again, the new version addresses a security issue.

Finally, a new version of the Flash player is announced in Adobe security bulletin APSB12-18. The new version is 11.3.300.271, and it addresses yet another crash-leading-to-possible-exploit security problem. As mentioned previously here, Google Chrome users will receive the new version of Flash for Chrome with the latest version of that browser. It remains to be seen whether this latest fix will resolve the long-standing crashing problems with the Flash player on Windows 7 systems.

August 2012 Patch Tuesday

Another Patch Tuesday is here, and this time there are nine bulletins, with associated patches affecting most versions of Windows and Microsoft Office. Several of the Windows patches are classified as critical.

Details on the August 2012 patches are posted on the Microsoft Security Bulletin site.

The patches are now available via Microsoft Update. Computers configured for automatic updates should start receiving them overnight.