Critical Windows 7 holes fixed in record Patch Tuesday

Microsoft released a record number of 13 bulletins for 34 vulnerabilities on Patch Tuesday–and the first critical update for Windows 7–as well as fixes for zero-day flaws involving Server Message Block (SMB) and Internet Information Services (IIS).
The most severe of the three SMB flaws, which were first reported last month, could allow an attacker to take control of a computer remotely by sending a specially crafted SMB packet to a computer running the Server service. Exploit code for one of the SMB holes has been posted to the Web, Microsoft said.  Windows 7 is affected by two critical patches intended to mend vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution if a malicious Web page were viewed, one part of a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer and the other in .Net Framework and Silverlight.
The official release date for Windows 7 is October 22, but the new operating system has been available to some large businesses with volume licenses since the summer. The code was finalized in July. Other critical patches in the security bulletin for October fix a vulnerability in Windows Media Runtime that could be exploited if a user opened a malicious media file or received malicious streaming content from a Web site or application, and if a specially crafted ASF (Advanced Systems Format) file is played using Windows Media Player 6.4. Among the critical updates: a cumulative security update of ActiveX Kill Bits that is being exploited and that affects ActiveX controls compiled using Active Template Library (ATL); and another patch resolving several vulnerabilities in ATL ActiveX Controls that could allow remote code execution if a user loaded a malicious component or control. ActiveX and ATLs were the subject of an emergency patch Microsoft released in July. The final critical bulletin fixes a hole in Windows GDI+ (Graphics Device Interface) that could allow an attacker to take control of a computer if the user viewed a malicious image file using affected software or browsed a malicious Web page.

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