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Microsoft today released security updates to fix almost a hundred flaws in its various Windows operating systems and related software.
One bug is so serious that Microsoft is issuing patches for it on Windows XP and other operating systems the company no longer officially supports.
Separately, Adobe has pushed critical updates for its Flash and Shockwave players, two programs most users would probably be better off without.
According to security firm Qualys, 27 of the 94 security holes Microsoft patches with today’s release can be exploited remotely by malware or miscreants to seize complete control over vulnerable systems with little or no interaction on the part of the user.
Separately, Adobe has issued updates to fix critical security problems with both its Flash Player and Shockwave Player.That’s because a single piece of malware that exploits this SMB flaw within a network could be used to replicate itself to all vulnerable systems very quickly.It is this very “wormlike” capability — a flaw in Microsoft’s SMB service — that was harnessed for spreading by Wanna Cry, the global ransomware contagion last month that held files for ransom at countless organizations and shut down at least 16 hospitals in the United Kingdom.“The best protection is to be on a modern, up-to-date system that incorporates the latest defense-in-depth innovations.
Older systems, even if fully up-to-date, lack the latest security features and advancements.” The default browsers on Windows — Internet Explorer or Edge — get their usual slew of updates this month for many of these critical, remotely exploitable bugs.
I recommend for users who have an affirmative need for Flash to leave it disabled until that need arises. Adobe patches dangerous new Flash flaws all the time, and Flash bugs are still the most frequently exploited by exploit kits — malware booby traps that get stitched into the fabric of hacked and malicious Web sites so that visiting browsers running vulnerable versions of Flash get automatically seeded with malware.