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Microsoft Posts 3 Security Patches, None Critical

Editor's Note: On Wednesday, March 10, Microsoft announced an important update to the Office XP security bulletin. The bulletin was re-released as a "critical" bulletin. Click here to read ENT's article on the change.

Microsoft released its monthly security patches for March on Tuesday. Three patches were released -- one for Windows 2000 Server, one for Office XP and one for MSN Messenger. None of the patches is critical.

The flaw in Windows 2000 Server has a maximum severity of moderate and could allow an attacker to cause Windows Media Services to stop accepting requests. The problem only affects systems that have Windows Media Services 4.1 installed. Although Windows Media Services 4.1 can be installed on Windows NT 4.0 servers, those systems are unaffected. The Windows Media Services 9.0 that ships with Windows Server 2003 is similarly unaffected. The bulletin, MS04-008, can be found here.

The Office XP problem carries a rating of important and could allow remote code execution. The flaw involves the way Outlook 2002 parses specially crafted mailto URLs. An attacker would have to entice a victim to click on a malicious Web site or HTML e-mail. The problem is also fixed in Office XP Service Pack 3. The security bulletin, MS04-009, is available here.

MSN Messenger's flaw is rated moderate in severity and could allow information disclosure on versions 6.0 and 6.1. The attack would require an attacker to know the screen name of the user, send a special request to the user, which, if successful would allow the attacker to view any files that the user has read access to on the system. Windows Messenger, another Microsoft instant messaging technology that ships with Windows XP, is not affected by the vulnerability. Information on the MSN Messenger bulletin, MS04-010, is available here.

Also on Tuesday, Microsoft re-released security bulletin MS03-022 with an improved installer. According to Microsoft's revised bulletin MS03-022, the original patch did not replace the vulnerable file in some cases. The flaw fixed in MS03-022, an important problem that could lead to code execution, also relates to Windows Media Services in Windows 2000.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.