News Analysis

Microsoft releases 'early' Windows fix

Customer pressure persuaded Microsoft to release a patch early for a flaw in its Windows Metafile (WMF).

The patch was made available last Thursday to Enterprise customers using Windows Server Update Services instead of being released as normal on a Tuesday as part of a series of scheduled monthly updates.
 
Microsoft had been under mounting pressure from users and security analysts following a number of attacks via different methods targeting the flaw, which became more numerous over the past few days.

The company said it continued to monitor data, which indicated that the attacks exploiting the vulnerability were limited. Microsoft said it released the patch early because the testing had been finished, saying it was the fastest it had produced and tested an update.

Users and security analysts both said they were encouraged by Microsoft's decision to break from its usual patch schedule because of the severity of the vulnerability, but warned that the problem highlighted the need for firms to have a security strategy that is not simply dependent
on a software producer's ability to get patches out quickly.

The good news is that Microsoft jumped out of its usual patch cycle. The bad news is that its products are still flawed enough to need one.


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