The vulnerabilities are covered by 13 security bulletins, and span Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Silverlight, Forefront, Developer Tools and SQL Server. Eight of the bulletins were given a critical rating, Microsoft's highest severity classification.
Six of the security bulletins affect the soon-to-be-released Windows 7 operating system, including MS09-054 and MS09-061, which are both rated critical. Those two bulletins include a critical update for Internet Explorer (MS09-054) and a fix for three vulnerabilities (MS09-061) in the Microsoft .NET Common Language Runtime that could be exploited to remotely execute code.
MS09-50 features fixes for three security vulnerabilities affecting Microsoft SMB (Server Message Block) protocol. Among the flaws is a zero-day bug disclosed in September that is due to the SMB implementation not properly parsing SMBv2 negotiation requests. Officials at Symantec said they have yet to see reliable exploits for the vulnerability in the wild, but there have been limited attempts to exploit the flaw.
Meanwhile, vulnerabilities in the FTP Service in IIS (Internet Information Services) have in fact come under attack, though the bulletin is only rated important. The vulnerabilities could allow RCE (remote code execution) on systems running FTP Service on IIS 5.0, or DoS (denial of service) on systems running FTP Service on IIS 5.0, IIS 5.1, IIS 6.0 or IIS 7.0.
Additionally, the Patch Tuesday update includes fixes tied to ActiveX Controls compiled using a vulnerable version of Microsoft Active Template Library. The bulletin addresses three vulnerabilities affecting all supported editions of Microsoft Outlook versions 2002, 2003 and 2007, as well as Microsoft Visio Viewer versions 2002, 2003 and 2007.
Other critical bulletins dealt with issues affecting Windows Media Runtime, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, ActiveX Kill bits, Windows GDI+, the Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Silverlight.
Beyond the FTP bulletin, four others were also rated important, and touched on the Windows CryptoAPI, Indexing Service, the local authority subsystem service and the Windows kernel.
Microsoft also used the opportunity to re-release MS 08-069, which dealt with a vulnerability in Microsoft
"Most of this month's updates require a restart, so please refer to the bulletins when you're planning your deployment to ensure you're fully protected," Bryant blogged. "We want to specifically note that MS09-050 requires a restart but will not prompt you to do so if you install the update manually."