Microsoft is expected to release six security bulletins next week, three critical, repairing a dozen vulnerabilities throughout its product line including a critical Internet Explorer zero-day flaw.
In its advance notification, the software giant said the patches affect Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office. All supported versions of Windows and IE are affected by the updates as well as Microsoft Office Project, Word and Works 8.5, said Jerry Bryant Microsoft security program manager for the Security Response Center. All of the updates for Windows will require a restart so please plan accordingly.
Bryant said taking high priority in Microsoft's Patch Tuesday release is an update addressing a display zero-day flaw affecting IE 6 and 7 that could lead to remote code execution. An advisory was issued late last month warning of publicly available proof-of-concept exploit code targeting the IE error. But Microsoft said it was not aware of any active attacks seeking to use the vulnerability.
The IE zero-day vulnerability affects the way the browser handles cascading style sheet (CSS) information used to lay out webpages. If successfully exploited by an attacker, the vulnerability could enable them to conduct drive-by attacks to spread malware.
In November, Microsoft issued six bulletins, addressing several serious vulnerabilities affecting Windows kernel drivers that could be remotely exploited to gain complete control of a system. Proof-of-concept code was readily available for one of the kernel vulnerabilities, an error in the way Windows handled OpenType (EOT) font.