It’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday for June 2010
Have you updated your Windows computer or computers yet today? This month Microsoft has patches for at least 10 vulnerabilities. Three of these are listed as critical with seven listed as important. More about what critical and important mean and what that means to you in a bit
While the past few weeks have been kind of quiet, lots has been going on the last few days with malware. There are important announcements from Adobe and interesting news (or bad news) for Mac OS fans.
What this Patch Tuesday means to your Windows computers.
The three critical updates seem to affect all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 to Windows 7 along with Windows Server versions. This also includes all versions on Internet Explorer. In other words, if your running Windows and/or using Internet Explorer, you need to do this upgrade soon!
Critical updates are extremely important.
On Microsoft’s vulnerability scale, Critical means a vulnerability that can allow your computer to be infected without your intervention. Usually this is by a worm.
A worm is a form a malware that sends itself out to attack other computers. It may use the network or it could use email or social media to send itself. In some cases, a worm can infect a computer that is simply on and connected to the internet. Surprisingly, unpatched computers still occasionally get infected even by the most early forms of malware simply because of failure to do updates. This is rare only because patched computers so not spread this malware. Worms are different from viruses as a virus needs to be sent by some means to another computer. Usually by infecting a file that gets transfered.
The updates listed as important are just as important for you.
The Microsoft scale states important vulnerabilities can allow personal information to be stolen. Your data could be used by someone or your computer’s resources could be used (spammers could use your computer to relay spam without you knowing it).
On the Microsoft Update Site these updates are all listed as High-Priority.
High priority updates are all done automatically if you have set automatic updates on your computer. All of these are important for your computer security and privacy. Updates that don’t are not about security issues are listed as optional. This month’s updates include updates to the Windows Operating System itself, Internet Explorer, Windows Media, Office, and other services. It may require a restart of your computer so save anything you are working on before you start the update.
There are reports that some of these vulnerabilities are already in use in malware.
You may want to do a manual Windows Update from your start menu before you do any more surfing. Windows Updates like this are free so go do it now.
A few more computer security items that came out recently.
Adobe has announce a very bad vulnerability in Flash (for all operating systems) as well as Reader and Acrobat. This is already being attacked by malware. At the moment, there is no update. Adobe is hoping to have an update for Flash June 10 and for Reader and Acrobat by the end of the month. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear it is out. Once again this affects all operating systems with Flash – Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix.
Malware is now targeting Mac OSX computers too.
No longer a rumor. No longer theory. Make sure your Mac gets updates too and start looking for an anti-virus for your Mac. There are now detailed instructions on how to use Mac OS X vulnerabilities.
Finally, there is an Apple Safari update.
This is for both Mac and Windows. This fixes some security problem in Safari that allow malware in. Also, I have heard that speed is improved also. This is just as important as Windows Update as not updating can have the same effect as not updating Internet Explorer.