Microsoft to rush out emergency Windows patch

Microsoft will rush out an emergency security patch for Windows users on Thursday.

The company offered few details on why it was releasing the software update, which is rated critical for users of Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. A critical flaw is worrisome, however, because it can be exploited by online attackers to seize control of the PC.

The update will be released at 10:00 am, Pacific time, said Microsoft spokesman Christopher Budd in a blog posting published late Wednesday.

The flaw is considered to be a less serious risk for users of the Windows Vista and Server 2008 operating systems Microsoft said in an advisory on the issue.

More information on software flaws and patches

For years, Microsoft has released its patches on a predetermined day — the second Tuesday of every month — but it has occasionally released patches ahead of schedule when bugs have been actively exploited by computer criminals.

The last such emergency patch issued by Microsoft was in April 2007, when the company fixed a bug in the way Windows processes .ani animated cursor files. That flaw was publicly known and being exploited in attack code hosted on hundreds of Web sites.

This latest vulnerability, however, appears to be unknown to the security community.

For Microsoft to rush out this type of emergency update, it must consider the bug to be very serious, said Dragos Ruiu, organizer of the CanSecWest hacking conference in an instant message interview.

Ruiu said that presenters at Microsoft’s recent Blue Hat internal security conference told him that they’d discovered some serious Windows bugs using security testing tools and that the update could fix one of these issues. “It might have wide reaching impact, or might be used easily for significant malicious hijinks,” he said.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now