Patch Tuesday: March 2011 edition

Microsoft has issued an advanced security notification for the month of March 2011. Patch Tuesday, as nicknamed by Microsoft, where the company releases the latest security patches for Windows, Office, Internet Explorer and other Microsoft branded software on the second Tuesday of every month.

This month is a light one, bringing only three bulletins, one which is labeled Critical, Microsoft's highest security rating, and the other two labeled as Important. All three patches will fix remote code execution flaws in both the Microsoft Windows operating system and in Microsoft Office.

There hasn't been any mention if a patch will be released for the MHTML vulnerability found on all supported versions of Windows. The vulnerability exists by the way MHTML interprets MIME-formatted requests, allowing an attacker to run an unauthorized script. We'll have to wait till March 8 for the patches to be released to determine if the MHTML vulnerability has been patched.

The patches will fix vulnerabilities in the following software:

  • Windows XP SP3
  • Windows Vista SP1 & SP2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Microsoft Office Groove 2007

Some of these updates will require a restart. Affected software includes both 32-bit and 64-bit, where applicable.

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39 Comments

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Microsoft is already working on patches for Windows 8. As soon as you install Windows 8 when it comes out...you will have updates waiting for you already.

It's a never ending process...

You know its funny reading threads like this...............I think it just proves that most of you have no idea what your talking about.

If they did that they'd lost the backwards compatibility with older versions that makes Windows so dominant.

Benjy91 said,
If they did that they'd lost the backwards compatibility with older versions that makes Windows so dominant.

They could emulate old architecture. It's like WOW64 which enable you to run 32-bit software on x64 Windows.

Metka said,

They could emulate old architecture. It's like WOW64 which enable you to run 32-bit software on x64 Windows.

But not 16-bit.

Benjy91 said,
If they did that they'd lost the backwards compatibility with older versions that makes Windows so dominant.

Not necessarily. They could replace the whole NT kernel stack and still maintain compatibility, thanks to the Win32 API and the kernel being separate. However, the NT kernel isn't the problem and doesn't need replacing. Win32 is. It will take alot of time, but eventually it will be replaced by something else. Maybe .NET or some derivate of it.

Metka said,

They could emulate old architecture. It's like WOW64 which enable you to run 32-bit software on x64 Windows.

That's not the same thing. You're talking about emulation of CPU architectures. Which is trivial compared to emulating an entire API.

Benjy91 said,

But not 16-bit.


Actually the original WOW emulated 16-bit on 32-bit Windows. I believe this still exists. That is why that video that went around yesterday where someone ran through all the Windows upgrades from Windows 1 to Windows 7 was still able to run Doom 2 on Windows 7.

mikefarinha said,

Actually the original WOW emulated 16-bit on 32-bit Windows. I believe this still exists. That is why that video that went around yesterday where someone ran through all the Windows upgrades from Windows 1 to Windows 7 was still able to run Doom 2 on Windows 7.

still exists in x86 versions, x64 versions had it removed, as they no longer support 16-bit layers

floopy said,

Not necessarily. They could replace the whole NT kernel stack and still maintain compatibility, thanks to the Win32 API and the kernel being separate. However, the NT kernel isn't the problem and doesn't need replacing. Win32 is. It will take alot of time, but eventually it will be replaced by something else. Maybe .NET or some derivate of it.

You mean WPF? Heh. That's what they have to replace Win32 iirc.

mikefarinha said,

Actually the original WOW emulated 16-bit on 32-bit Windows. I believe this still exists. That is why that video that went around yesterday where someone ran through all the Windows upgrades from Windows 1 to Windows 7 was still able to run Doom 2 on Windows 7.

That is correct. WOW (16-bit on 32-bit) exists on all 32-bit versions of Windows. WOW64 (32-bit on 64-bit) exists on all 64-bit versions of Windows. There is no WOW (16-bit ON 64-bit) subsystem on 64-bit Windows. I say good riddence too. 16-bit Windows applications shared a serious problem in having a weird memory model, which was linked to the fact that Win16 originally existed in a non-protected mode environment and Windows didn't not have the nice flat memory model that now exists in 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Anyone remember LocalAlloc() and GlobalAlloc()?

GP007 said,

You mean WPF? Heh. That's what they have to replace Win32 iirc.

WPF is a graphics/UI subsystem and is not a complete API. It interacts with the existing Win32 API. I'm guessing a hybrid of .NET, WPF and something else will be part of the new API of Windows. But it will be a slow process. Win32 needs to stay until it can be easily emulated for compatibility.

Benjy91 said,

But not 16-bit.


That's a hardware limitation as 16bit works in a CPU-mode that's not available if the CPU works in 64bit…

floopy said,

But it will be a slow process. Win32 needs to stay until it can be easily emulated for compatibility.

Actually thanks to the architecture of NT there would be no need for an emulation. If Microsoft wanted to replace Win32 with a new system - for example Singularity… - they "just" had to release a new API on top of NT as Win32 runs on top of NT. (They actually have done that in the past for OS/2 and UNIX…)

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

No. Windows WILL NEVER have a re-write, it's impossible, Windows is so HUGE, you wouldn't understand how much work and time Microsoft have put in to it and to think of the amount of code that is in Windows makes my mind go strange

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

Uuuhhhhhh. What? You do know that Vista *WAS* a re-write?

The Win2K line died with XP.

Jan said,

No. Windows WILL NEVER have a re-write, it's impossible, Windows is so HUGE, you wouldn't understand how much work and time Microsoft have put in to it and to think of the amount of code that is in Windows makes my mind go strange


Agreed! A full rewrite would take nearly ten years, by then the code would be obsolete. They are already rewriting it, but on a component by component basis. In Vista the graphics driver model, network and audio stack was rewritten. In Windows 7, the printer stack was rewritten as well as some major parts of the kernel. There's a big chance there's a rewrite of the Shell/Explorer in Windows 8. Also, .NET will probably eventually replace the Win32 API in the future.

Frylock86 said,

Uuuhhhhhh. What? You do know that Vista *WAS* a re-write?

The Win2K line died with XP.


No, you are wrong. Vista did rewrite some major parts of the OS. But there's still some Windows NT 3.1 components even in Windows 7. There's no point in rewriting just for the sake of it. If a part of the OS works, don't change it until it needs it. Rewriting code can actually bring back alot of security flaws that were already fixed.

Frylock86 said,

Uuuhhhhhh. What? You do know that Vista *WAS* a re-write?

The Win2K line died with XP.

No, that never happened. There was a massive code update and a lot of it was redone, but it wasn't as big a rewrite as you're making out to be. There's still a lot of old code in there (and that's fine). Windows will never be rewritten as we know it. Microsoft would be better off creating an entirely new OS that isn't designed to be compatible with Windows than rewriting the lot and trying to keep the same windows line going.

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

a re-write of windows won't be done any time soon. Will it never be done? I don't know, they will at least wait until emulation and virtual pc's are more common place and seamless. Once that happens I think they would be able to do new while still keeping compatibility with legacy applications. In the tech world you should shouldn't use the word "Never".

Just like N64 emulation will NEVER be possible on the pc, then the next day ultraULE something something came out running Mario64 and Zelda and native speeds with people with Voodoo cards.

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

can you name an example of an os rewrite? excluding dos

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

Never happen, not the way you want it to. With Vista MS updated and redid some parts ya, and with Win7 they probably did a bit more, so I expect the same with Win8. MS would rather recode/redo/update parts little by little than try to restart it all in one go.

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

No disrespect, but that is about the dumbest uninformed thing I've read all day, for more than one reason. Just read other responses for more information.

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

MS can't afford to have another 6+ years gap in OS releases... If they were to rewrite something, it will be a new OS (pointing to WP7).

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

What they should do is just erase ".NET" from history somehow. LOL

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

A total rewrite would be foolish, time consuming and end up causing tons of compatibility problems. There is no point rewriting stuff that is fully tested, mature and works. (Also calling 7 Win2000 SP10 is beyond ridiculous, any credibility your post may have had went out the window with that).

IntelliMoo said,

What they should do is just erase ".NET" from history somehow. LOL


Why? Because it's working way better than the old "C++-DLL + VisualBasic-UI"-development?</sarcasm>
.NET is the future on Windows/anything that's related to Microsoft, anyone who still doubts that has totally lost his mind!

IntelliMoo said,

What they should do is just erase ".NET" from history somehow. LOL

For the way I use Windows, I could go along with this all the way, but, it isn't going happen.

Just as a re-write of the OS isn't going to happen.

Frylock86 said,

Uuuhhhhhh. What? You do know that Vista *WAS* a re-write?

The Win2K line died with XP.

So you are blind. No re-write. Go over all the security updates of Win7 / Server 2008. All of them are code-copy fron Win2000/NT thru Win7/Server 2008 as the same security update applies to all these OSs (this month as well) including the 64 bit versions. You don't see Windows 2000 on the list as Microsoft stoped support for the OS a couple of months ago. Go back 4 months back and you will see Windows 2000 on the list.

alexalex said,

So you are blind. No re-write. Go over all the security updates of Win7 / Server 2008. All of them are code-copy fron Win2000/NT thru Win7/Server 2008 as the same security update applies to all these OSs (this month as well) including the 64 bit versions. You don't see Windows 2000 on the list as Microsoft stoped support for the OS a couple of months ago. Go back 4 months back and you will see Windows 2000 on the list.

This is just troll bait isnt it.

JamesCherrill said,

Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X


That's not a rewrite but a new OS as OSX is a decendent of NeXTStep and not of System 9!

alexalex said,
Hope that Win8 won't be a copycat of Win 2000 as Win7 (win 2000 sp 10) is.
It time for a totaly new re-write.

Re-writing code gives you new code with new bugs and new security holes plus a whole lot of backwards compatibility thrown out in the process.

I really do hate it when people come into this forum thinking that a simplistic solution will solve the problem - as if they're the only person on earth who ever thought of such an idea.