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Microsoft Patches Only Two Vulnerabilities

It's a rare quiet month for Microsoft patches. Enjoy the calm while it lasts.

Microsoft on Tuesday released two Security Bulletins to fix two vulnerabilities, one affecting Microsoft Windows and one affecting Microsoft Office.

Both vulnerabilities are rated "Critical" and both are rated "2" on the company's Exploitability Index, meaning that inconsistent exploit code is likely.

"This month it's impossible to say that any one of the advisories is interesting," declared from Tyler Reguly, lead security engineer for NCircle, in an e-mailed statement. "It's a pretty dull month with no serious issues being patched."

Security Bulletin MS10-030 fixes a vulnerability associated with Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail. The vulnerability affects Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, and Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, and Windows 7, though Vista and later include heap protection that makes successful exploitation less likely.

Security Bulletin MS10-031 deals with a vulnerability in Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It affects Microsoft VBA SDK 6.0 and third-party applications that use Microsoft VBA.

In a post on Microsoft's Security Research and Defense blog, security engineer Greg Wroblewski discounted the likelihood that the VBA flaw will be exploited in the next 30 days.

"In theory there are a few ways this vulnerability could be used in a successful exploit, yet all of them require very specific properties of the program," he said. "Such properties, while possible, are unlikely to be found in practice."

Wolfgang Kandek, CTO of Qualys, said in an e-mailed statement that Microsoft did not address a known cross-site scripting vulnerability affecting SharePoint. He recommends reviewing Microsoft's advisory on the matter and implementing the workaround until a more permanent fix is made available.

Microsoft also said that Windows XP Service Pack 2 won't be supported after July 13, 2010 and encouraged customers to upgrade to XP SP3 or Windows 7. Extended support for Windows 2000 also ends then.

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