T. S. Elliot once said, “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” So as we put one season to bed, let’s start another by looking at the April security updates. Today, we release four bulletins to address 11 CVEs in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. The update for Microsoft Word addresses the issues described in Microsoft Security Advisory 2953095. For those who prioritize, we recommend this bulletin as well as the update for Internet Explorer be on the top of your list.
We would be remiss if we did not mention another end; the end of support for Windows XP and Office 2003. The updates provided by MS14-018 and MS14-019 will be the final security updates for Windows XP; MS14-017 and MS14-020 are the final update for Office 2003. For those who haven’t migrated yet, I recommend visiting the Microsoft Security Blog, where my colleague Tim Rains provides guidance for consumers and small businesses who may have questions about how end of support affects them. Enterprise administrators will also find this a worthwhile read.
Here’s an overview of all the updates released this month:
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Our top priorities for this month are MS14-018 and MS14-017, which address issues in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word respectively.
This security update resolves six privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. While the issues addressed by this bulletin are very straightforward, I wanted to specifically call your attention to the updates for Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. For these platforms, the update is not cumulative – it only addresses this issues described in this bulletin. You also have the option of installing KB2919355, which is a cumulative update for Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2. In addition to previous updates for these operating systems, it includes enhancements such as improved Internet Explorer 11 compatibility for enterprise applications, usability improvements, extended mobile device management, and improved hardware support. Additionally, for Windows Server 2012 R2, it includes support for clustering configurations for hosters. For more information about this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2919355.
Similarly, customers running Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 also can choose a cumulative update: KB2929437. In addition to previous updates for Internet Explorer 11 on these operating systems, it includes enhancements such as improved Internet Explorer 11 compatibility for enterprise applications. If you install this cumulative update, you will not need to install the KB2936068 update offered through MS14-018. There may also be some who overlook the update for Internet Explorer 10. For this version of the browser, the update is non-security. The issues addressed by this bulletin do not impact Internet Explorer 10, but the update does include non-security related changes. For more information about the non-security-related fixes that are included in this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2936068.
This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and two privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Word. The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened in an affected version of Microsoft Office software. This security update also addresses the vulnerability first described in Microsoft Security Advisory 2953095. If you have installed the Fix it provided through this advisory, you should remove it once you apply the update to ensure RTF files open correctly.
Finally, we are revising Security Advisory 2755801 with the latest update for Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer. The update addresses the vulnerabilities described in Adobe Security bulletin APSB14-09 For more information about this update, including download links, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2942844.
Watch the bulletin overview video below for a brief summary of today's releases.
For more information about this month’s security updates, including the detailed view of the Exploit Index broken down by CVE, visit the Microsoft Bulletin Summary Web page.
William Peteroy and I will host the monthly bulletin webcast, scheduled for Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 11 a.m. PDT. I invite you to register here, and tune in to learn more about this month’s security bulletins and advisories.
For all the latest information, you can also follow us at @MSFTSecResponse.
Please join me in wishing Windows XP and Office 2003 a fond farewell as they head towards the sunset of their lives. I look forward to hearing your questions about this month’s release in our webcast tomorrow.
Group Manager, Response Communications
Microsoft Trustworthy Computing