Critical MS Office patches coming

In today's March Patch Tuesday preview, Microsoft announced that it will be releasing four
patches, all rated critical because they allow remote-code
execution, and all involving Microsoft Office in some way.

As is typical with its preview announcements, the company didn't
release details on the exact flaws the patches will fix, but did
detail the systems affected.

The first patch is for Excel and is rated critical --
Microsoft's highest rating -- for Excel 2000 SP3, but is rated only
as important for other versions of Excel, including Excel 2003
(although SP3 of 2003 is not affected) and Excel 2007, as well as
Office 2004 and 2008 for Mac.

The second patch is critical for the following versions of
Outlook: Outlook 2000 SP3, Outlook 2002 SP3, Outlook 2003 SP2 and
SP3, and Outlook 2007.

The third patch is critical only for Microsoft Office 2000 SP3.
The patch is rated important for several other programs, including
Office XP SP3 and Office for Mac 2004.

The final patch planned for this month's batch is rated critical
for Microsoft Office Web Components 2000. According to Microsoft,
updates have already been released to fix the flaw (whatever it
might be) in several Microsoft products, including Visual Studio
.NET, BizTalk Server, Office 2000 and XP.

Microsoft is also planning to release three "high-priority,
non-security updates" through Windows Server Update Service (WSUS)
and Windows Update.

As always, Microsoft cautioned that the information released
today is preliminary and may change before the official release

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the executive editor of the 1105 Redmond Media Group's Web sites, including,, and, among others.


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