Patch Tuesday preview

Two 'critical' and two 'important' patches are on the slate; all of the fixes for February have remote code execution implications.

Microsoft plans to rollout four security bulletins for this month's patch cycle on Tuesday, with two "critical" items and two "important" patches on the slate.

All of the fixes for February have remote code execution (RCE) implications. RCE exploits have proven in recent years to be the common risk addressed in the monthly release of Windows security updates.

The first critical fix will be for Internet Explorer, but it just affects IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems.

Microsoft Exchange Server will be the second critical item planned for Microsoft's patch. Redmond plans to issue a fix for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2007.

The first important fix will address the Microsoft SQL Server database management systems on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. It's not yet known if it will patch recently uncovered security issues, but the fix seems rather comprehensive.

This month's release also will include SQL Server security hotfixes for nearly every version of the application from SQL Server 2000 to SQL Server 2005. Consequently, database administrators and security pros may want to take a close look at this patch.

Important fix No. 2, the last in the February batch, will deal with the Microsoft Office Visio diagramming application. Versions covered in this fix will be Visio 2002, 2003 and 2007.

Overall, three of the four patches will require restarts on installation.

For IT pros wanting to get a head start on nonsecurity updates coming this month through Windows Update, Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services, this knowledgebase article has all of the particulars.

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