Google encourages security researchers to discover security vulnerabilities in its web browser, Chrome. The recently-concluded Pwnium 2 contest revealed one new vulnerability. A $60,000 prize was awarded to its discoverer, and within hours, a new version of Chrome (22.0.1229.94) that addresses the vulnerability was released.
Despite the fact that Windows 8 has not yet started appearing on store shelves, Microsoft is releasing a set of updates for the new operating system. Since Windows 8’s RTM (release to manufacturing), several new issues have been discovered, and the updates are intended to address those issues.
Anyone testing or evaluating Windows 8 should install the updates, which are available through Microsoft Update.
Anyone buying a new computer with Windows 8 installed on it should check for and install any pending updates immediately after powering up the computer for the first time. Anyone installing Windows 8 after it is released to retail should also immediately check for and install any pending updates.
It’s Patch Tuesday and Microsoft has released seven security bulletins, affecting Windows, Word, Internet Explorer and other Microsoft software. A total of 20 vulnerabilities are addressed by the updates. We covered the details in a previous post. As always, we encourage everyone running affected software to apply the updates as soon as possible.
Released yesterday, version 11.4.402.287 addresses security, performance and stability issues in the previous versions of Flash. Users are encouraged to install the new Flash as soon as possible.
Note that at the time of this post, the Flash Player Update Announcement on Adobe’s site shows the wrong version in the first paragraph. It should show the new version as 11.4.402.287 but instead shows it as 11.4.402.278.
There’s another new version of Google’s Chrome web browser. Version 22.0.1229.92 addresses several security holes and includes a new version of Flash. The full details are available in the update announcement.
ITWorld has posted an article reviewing several methods for reviving the Start menu in Windows 8.
Two of the solutions are open source (free), and the third costs about $5. Each has various pros and cons, as described in the article.
Another month, another batch of updates from Microsoft. On October 9, starting at about 10 am PDT, Microsoft will release patches that address a total of twenty vulnerabilities in Windows and Office. Seven security bulletins will cover the defects being patched, one of which is a critical vulnerability in Word.
Also included in the upcoming updates will be Microsoft Security Advisory (2661254): Update For Minimum Certificate Key Length. This update is the final step in a series of actions taken by Microsoft to improve Internet-based security for its products. This update will force RSA-encrypted communications in Internet Explorer and Outlook to use keys that are 1024 bits in length or greater. If you access secure web sites with Internet Explorer or use encrypted email with Outlook, this update may cause those services to stop working. For further details, see:
While it may be too early for definite conclusions, a recent survey of 50,000 Windows 8 users shows that a huge proportion of early adopters would rather be using Windows 7.
Apparently people like how fast the new O/S boots up, but they are not enjoying the new
Metro Windows 8 style (whatever) user interface.
The new flaw apparently affects all versions of Java, including the most recent updates of Java 5, 6 and 7.
How does this affect users? Nothing has really changed: users are strongly urged to disable Java in their web browsers, since web sites are the most likely vector for attacks based on Java vulnerabilities. If that isn’t possible or practical for you, then your best course of action is to be extremely cautious when deciding whether to click any kind of link, in email or anywhere else. Simply visiting a web site can be enough to infect your computer.
Oracle has not responded to this latest report, and they have yet to respond to the previous Java vulnerability reports.