News Analysis

Microsoft considers patch revamp

Microsoft’s worries with the unpatched bug in Internet Explorer and users’ concern that they may have to wait until 11 April for a new patch has led Microsoft to consider improved means of providing more rapid security updates.

 

Hackers began circulating code that exploited the latest IE vulnerability late last week, and the program has already been used on several hundred maliciously encoded websites, according to security specialist Websense.

 

With Microsoft not due to issue its patch until 11 April, the company has come under fire for being too slow to respond to serious threats.

 

Microsoft says it is looking at ways to provide speedier patches, but at present has no plans to release beta versions of its security updates.

 

The company says its reluctance is based on quality control, and ensuring that Microsoft’s updates work on a wide range of systems, all around the world.

 

The existing monthly patch system has worked well, but has not been tested by a need for more immediate releases. As the focus grows over the year with the run-up to the now-delayed launch of Vista next year, Microsoft is going to have to come up with a new patching system to reassure users.


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