To respond to the newly discovered security issues in its products - Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7, Microsoft will be rolling out a ‘critical’ patch today to plug the vulnerability in its March Patch Tuesday release.
Microsoft has given advanced warning to its consumers regarding the release of this security patch.
Six security patches are expected be released. Only one of the six updates will be tagged ‘critical’, the highest threat ranking in Microsoft's four-label system, while four will be marked ‘important’, the second-level rating, and the sixth will be marked as ‘moderate’.
According to Microsoft, the security patch is critical for users of Windows 7 for 32-bit systems and Windows 7 for 32-bit systems Service Pack 1. Also, users with Windows 7 for 64-bit based systems and Windows 7 for 64-bit based systems Service Pack 1 need to download this security patch.
Older computer systems running Windows XP Service Pack 3, along with those running Windows XP Professional 64-bit Edition Service Pack 2 operating systems also need to be patched. Microsoft claims that it is not just client-side versions of Windows that are vulnerable. Windows Server 2008 R2 for 64-bit based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for 64-bit based Systems Service Pack 1 are also affected. As are Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems and Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-based Systems Service Pack 1.
In addition to all this, Microsoft will also issue a fix for an ‘Important’ rated bug in Microsoft Visual Studio that could be exploited to escalate privileges on compromised systems.