New Internet Explorer Patch Plugs Serious Security Holes

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-10-04 Print this article Print

A new patch released Friday by Microsoft fixes a number of critical vulnerabilities in the browser and related products.

A new patch released Friday by Microsoft fixes a number of critical vulnerabilities in the browser and related products. One of the holes filled by the patch concerns a deficiency in a previous patch for which exploits have begun to appear. The vulnerabilities affect all versions of Internet Explorer since version 5.01, which is to say all versions that are supported and for which Microsoft is supplying such patches. A separate vulnerability also patched yesterday could allow an attacker to use Windows Media Player to construct an Internet Explorer attack. Information about the patches are available at these locations:
  • For End Users: What You Should Know About Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-040 (828750)
  • More Technical Information: Microsoft Security Bulletin MS03-040 - Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer (828750)

    The new patches are available at the following locations:
  • For all versions except Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows Server 2003
  • For Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 on Windows Server 2003

    Most users should go to the Windows Update site (Tools-Windows Update in Internet Explorer) to apply the patches. The patches are labeled there as:
  • Security Update for Windows Media Player (KB828026)
  • October 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (KB828750)

    One of the fixed problems could result in execution of arbitrary code simply by reading an e-mail message, so the problem is quite a serious one. Others would require that the attacker lure the victim to a web site and have them view a page containing the attack.

    Discuss this in the eWEEK forum.
    Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

    He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

    For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

    In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

    Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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