Microsoft has patched 10 vulnerabilities, four marked "critical," in Windows and Internet Explorer (IE), and disabled a little-known third-party ActiveX control bundled with Logitech hardware, including keyboards and mice.
The 10 fixes are delivered in seven separate security updates, three of which were considered critical, the highest threat ranking in Microsoft's four-step scoring system.
The one that caught the eyes of most analysts was MS09-030 , a critical update that patches a single bug in Windows' implementation of Bluetooth. "This is the most interesting of the bunch," said Tyler Reguly, a security research engineer with nCircle Network Security. "We haven't seen Microsoft patching Bluetooth before for one thing."
Eric Schultze, chief technology officer of Shavlik Technologies, echoed Reguly, saying that he couldn't remember Microsoft ever addressing Bluetooth, either. "This sounds like it's pretty bad," said Schultze, "but the bulletin is unclear and doesn't tell you whether Bluetooth is enabled by default on Windows XP ." If it's not, he added, the danger would be reduced.
An attacker could exploit the flaw by flooding the receiving system - a laptop in a public place, for example - with a large number of malformed SDPs (Service Discovery Protocols). No user interaction is required, meaning that an attack could be mounted without the user knowing.
A Symantec researcher also tagged the Bluetooth bug as the most notable of the month. "The vulnerability is especially noteworthy because it allows an attacker in range of a Bluetooth-enabled device running Windows XP or Vista to take control of that device," said Ben Greenbaum, a Symantec senior research manager, in an e-mail Tuesday.
The other two critical updates are run-of-the-mill client-side bugs, said Reguly, the kind Windows users have come to expect to see each month. "The DirectX and Internet Explorer, are standard client-side stuff," Reguly said. "Both would use the Web as an attack vector, and well, IE, we almost always see patches for IE."
Schultze agreed. "Standard IE," he said. "It's not even fun to talk about these any more."
Beyond the three critical bulletins, the most intriguing, said Reguly, was MS08-032 , a "moderate" update that fixes a flaw in Microsoft's Speech API and disables an ActiveX control created by third-party developer BackWeb.
"They completely left the Speech API out of the pre-patch notice," noted Reguly, referring to the advance warning of Tuesday's updates that Microsoft issued last Thursday.
According to BackWeb's own security advisory , the flawed ActiveX control is included with the Logitech Desktop Manager, update notification software bundled with Logitech's hardware, including keyboards, mice and Web cams designed for Windows. A patched version of the ActiveX control is available from Logitech in an update from its site.
Microsoft simply disabled the flawed control by setting its "kill bit" in the Windows registry, a last-ditch defence often recommended when a patch isn't available. Microsoft, however, has said in the past the it would set kill bits for trouble third-party ActiveX controls via a security update at the developer's request. In April, for example, Microsoft disabled a Yahoo. ActiveX control.
June's security updates can be downloaded and installed via the Microsoft Update and Windows Update services, as well as through Windows Server Update Services.
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