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“Based on an assessment of the current threat landscape by our security engineers, we made the decision to make updates available more broadly,” Doerr wrote.
“As always, we recommend customers upgrade to the latest platforms.
Users running XP or Server 2003 can get the update for this flaw here.
“Our decision today to release these security updates for platforms not in extended support should not be viewed as a departure from our standard servicing policies,” wrote Eric Doerr, general manager of Microsoft’s Security Response Center.
Microsoft this month is fixing another serious flaw (CVE-2017-8543) present in most versions of Windows that resides in the feature of the operating system which handles file and printer sharing (also known as “Server Message Block” or the SMB service).
SMB vulnerabilities can be extremely dangerous if left unpatched on a local (internal) corporate network.
Separately, Adobe has pushed critical updates for its Flash and Shockwave players, two programs most users would probably be better off without.
According to security firm Qualys, 27 of the 94 security holes Microsoft patches with today’s release can be exploited remotely by malware or miscreants to seize complete control over vulnerable systems with little or no interaction on the part of the user.
And, as with that SMB flaw, Microsoft has made the unusual decision to make fixes for this newer SMB bug available for those older versions.More importantly, Adobe has a history of patching Shockwave’s built-in version of Flash several versions behind the stand-alone Flash plugin version.As a result Shockwave has been a high security risk to have installed for many years now.Chrome and IE should auto-install the latest Flash version on browser restart (users may need to manually check for updates in and/or restart the browser to get the latest Flash version).Chrome users may need to restart the browser to install or automatically download the latest version.