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Microsoft issues only one security patch for today

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January 12, 2010

According to various posts on the Web in the past few days, Microsoft Windows' first Patch Tuesday for 2010 will be a very small one in deed.

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The software giant will instead fix just one single critical security issue that affects Windows 2000, Windows XP, the now infamous Windows Vista and even Windows 7.

Microsoft says it will also patch the same security hole in Windows Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, although the security flaw in those products is marked as low by Microsoft.

But on the company's security blog it states that the "Exploitability Index" rating for this security flaw would not be high, thereby lowering the overall risk. Some security experts disagree.

Microsoft still hasn't patched a Denial of Service (DoS) hole in SMB (Server Message Block), which the company went public about six weeks ago.

In Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2, the security flaw makes it possible to lock up affected systems. The crash would happen without a Blue Screen of Death or other visible indication that anything was wrong, however.

"We are still working on an update for the issue at this time. We are not aware of any active attacks using the exploit code that was made public for this vulnerability and continue to encourage Microsoft Windows users to follow the guidance in the advisory which outlines best practices to help protect systems against attacks that originate outside of the enterprise perimeter," a blog posting said on Microsoft's site.

Overall, Microsoft issued fixes for no less than 34 security flaws as well as 13 updates in December in what was a record Patch Tuesday happening.

Microsoft's light-footed approach to its latest round of updates contrasts with the hefty collection of security patches that trundled out of MS Towers and onto the Internet last October.

The company's latest security bulletin release is scheduled for today at around 1.30 PM EST.

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Source: Microsoft.

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