Patch Tuesday May 2012

It’s time again for Microsoft’s monthly patch release.

Lots of news for this month’s Patch Tuesday.

News of the Apple malware that does not seem to go away. Adobe has a free update and three you have to pay for. Not to be outdone on it’s own release day, Microsoft has an amazing amount of updates this month.

Let’s start with the Apple malware just to be different.

The Apple Safari Browser Logo
The Apple Safari Browser

While there is an update from Apple that prevents the current malware infection, it does not seem to be going away as fast as one would expect. It may be denial (that is not a river in Egypt) or complacency about Mac malware but people are simply not updating computers. Those computers are getting infected.

Apple also just released an update for IOS which is the operating system for the iPhone and iPad. This fixes some vulnerabilities in those devices. The iPhone and iPad have had some extra degree of safety as most users can only install apps that have passed through Apple; however, updating is still important.

Adobe is next this month.

Adboe Flash Player Icon
Adobe Flash Player

Adobe has announced security issues with Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash Professional (this is not the Flash player you use on your computer) and the Shockwave player. The Shockwave player is the only free download. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash Professional will require a paid upgrade for safety.

Adobe also released an unplanned update for the Adobe Flash player last week. If you are not sure you have the latest Adobe Flash player and Shockwave, you should to the the Adobe.com website and make sure you have the latest version.

Here is a video on updating Adobe Flash and Shockwave:

And finally, what does Microsoft have for us this month.

Window Update
This is what Window Update looks like in the start menu

A lot. In fact, I was shocked by the number of updates. I had 23 updates on an XP computer with Microsoft Office installed. Even without MS Office, you are going to see a lot of updates. Not only that, but I found I still had a critical Silverlight update that needed a second trip to Microsoft Update after a restart in order to get all of them. It’s a big long bunch of updates (I’ve seen the download at about 175 MB).

Why so many updates? It seem that Microsoft fixed some code that was being targeted by malware in one area of Windows. They have discovered that same code was used in several products and places and this bunch of updates fixes all those other instances of the same code. At least, I hope so.

Here is a video on updating Windows XP manually:

Just a note:

I’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of email spam over the past few weeks. Have you? It’s gotten so bad I’ve considered deleting an email address for a few weeks to see if it clears out of whatever list it’s on. I’ve never seen it as bad. I am now winning about 10 lotteries a day and about 20000 employees and the Bank of Hong Kong have some defunct account worth millions they want to share with me. I am even getting email claiming to be refunds for people who have been scammed (I really hope no one falls for that one – I’d hate to see someone get taken twice).

Don’t fall for these scams. If they aren’t just outright scams, possibly just as bad they will lead you to a website that will infect your computer with malware. And Mac users, you are no longer immune, just like the rest of us.