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'Patch Tuesday' Load Lightened by One

Microsoft has dropped one fix from its September "Patch Tuesday" update, pulling Security Bulletin 5 that affected Windows and SharePoint Server.

What looked like a light month -- only five patches -- now looks like even less of a strain on security admins, as Microsoft will release just four fixes.

Four were labeled "Important" by Microsoft's Security Response Team, and one was rated "Critical." That number is down to three "Important" patches to go with the "Critical" one.

The lone critical issue, like those in previous months, has potential remote code execution (RCE) implications that affect Windows but can be remedied by a quick restart and use of Microsoft's Baseline Security Analyzer to sweep the system for bugs and determine whether the system even requires an update.

The remaining three patches are for various products and applications including Visual Studio, Windows Services for Unix, MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger.

The security issue for the Windows-for-Unix involves "elevation of privilege," or access control risks, where unauthorized users could potentially change user rights settings. Meanwhile, it's RCE considerations for Visual Studio, MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger items.

Of the four fixes, two will require restarts, one may require a reboot, and one won't require a reboot.

Redmond will also release another update to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal tool, and is rolling out one high-priority, non-security update on Microsoft Update and nothing for Windows Update.

Thursday's advance notification isn't set in stone but is a pretty good indication of what to expect. Looking ahead, it seems that for security managers, next Tuesday may represent more of an opportunity for value-added fixes than urgent ones.

Microsoft didn't list any details on why the SharePoint Server fix was pulled, but that's unlikely to bother most IT pros, who will just be happy to have less to do on Tuesday.

With additional reporting by Online News Editor Keith Ward

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

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