Microsoft patches critical Windows, server flaws

Microsoft patches critical Windows, server flaws
Microsoft patches critical Windows, server flaws 

By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
April 10, 2007

Microsoft has released its regularly scheduled batch of security 
patches, fixing critical flaws in Windows and the Microsoft Content 
Management Server.

The updates come one week after Microsoft was forced to rush an 
emergency Windows patch when attackers began exploiting a bug in the way 
Windows processes .ani animated cursor files.

In addition to the Content Management Server update, Microsoft fixed 
critical flaws in the Windows Client Server Run-Time Subsystem, 
Microsoft Agent, and Plug and Play services.

In total, the new patches fix seven critical flaws, five of which are in 
Windows. A fifth update fixes a less-critical flaw in the Windows 

All three of the critical Windows patches should be installed as quickly 
as possible, security vendors said Tuesday. Symantec rated the Microsoft 
Agent (MS07-020) patch the most critical because this service runs on a 
large number of systems. "A successful exploit could allow an attacker 
to install malicious code of his/her choice and potentially allow the 
attacker to gain complete control of the affected system in the 
worst-case scenario," Symantec said in a statement.

System administrators should pay particular attention to the Windows 
Client Server Run-Time Subsystem (MS07-021) and Plug and Play (MS07-019) 
updates, said Amol Sarwate, manager of Qualys' vulnerability research 

The MS07-021 update fixes an unpatched Windows vulnerability that was 
first reported late last year, Sarwate said. Although attack code that 
leverages this flaw has not been widely used, it could let a criminal 
run unauthorized software on a victim's computer, he said. For this to 
happen, however, a victim would first need to be tricked into visiting a 
malicious Web site.

The Plug and Play flaw could be exploited with no user action 
whatsoever, Sarwate added, but attacks that would take advantage of this 
flaw can be blocked at the firewall, he said.

Users of the Content Management Server should also make the MS07-018 
update a priority, he said. However, the newer version of this product, 
called Office SharePoint server, is not vulnerable to the flaws that are 
fixed in this patch.

For customers who are having problems with last week's .ani (MS07-017) 
update, Microsoft re-released a hotfix for that patch that takes care of 
problems that the update was causing for users of the ElsterFormular, 
TUGZip and CD-Tag software. This hotfix had been available for manual 
download last week, but now it can be downloaded through Microsoft's 
various automatic update services.

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