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4/7/2011
10:44 PM
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Microsoft’s Massive April Patch Tuesday

Many security teams may wish it was March once again. Last month Microsoft issued patches for just four vulnerabilities within three security bulletins.

This Tuesday won’t be nearly so tame. The company plans to release 17 separate bulletins that will fix 64 specific security related software flaws, according to its April Advanced Security Bulletin Notice.

Nine of these bulletins are ranked "critical," the company’s most severe rating. These flaws can be remotely exploited, which is what makes them so troublesome. The flaws affect Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Visual Studio, .NET Framework, and GDI+.

From the Microsoft Security Response Center:

This month we'll be closing some issues that Microsoft has already previously spoken to, including the SMB Browser (Critical) issue publicly disclosed Feb. 15. Microsoft assessed the situation and reported that although the vulnerability could theoretically allow Remote Code Execution, that was extremely unlikely. To this day, we have seen no evidence of attacks.

We are also planning a fix for the MHTML vulnerability in Windows, rated Important. We alerted people to this issue with Security Advisory 2501696 (including a Fix-It that fully protected customers once downloaded) back in late January. In March, we updated the advisory to let people know we were aware of limited, targeted attacks.

As always, Microsoft will host a webcast on Wednesday, April 13 where more details about the bulletins will be discussed.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.