Goodness, where has the time gone? It’s already March, time for more updates from various software developers, and we’re down to the last 26 days of Windows XP’s support life! Before we know it, Vista will be on the chopping block (which is April 11th, 2017, if your curious).
On slate this month from Microsoft will be a total of 5 updates, two ranked critical and the other three important. While it is imerative that all these updates be applied, MS14-012 is the most critical and should be applied first, followed by MS14-014 and MS14-013. The other two, MS14-015 and MS14-016, should be applied next.
MS14-012 addresses a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that has been actively exploited on systems running Internet Explorer 10. All versions of Windows and Internet Explorer are impacted by this update, not just IE 10, so all Windows users are strongly encouraged to apply this update.
MS14-013 corrects issues in Windows that could allow an attacker to run remote code on an impacted computer. All versions of Windows are impacted, so all Windows users are highly encouraged to apply this update. Additionally, while listed as only Important, MS14-014 updates Silverlight, a tool that allows for enabling rich browsing experiences. While this vulnerability in Silverlight will not allow an attacker to run code on an impacted system, it will allow for security feature bypass, which, when coupled with additional exploits, could allow an attacker to seriously compromise a large number of systems.
Adobe has released an update to its Flash Player that addresses two issues with the program. Adobe has given this update a rating of 2, which indicates no exploits are known in the wild. Adobe suggests that all severity 2 updates be applied within 30 days.
Again, as it customary now in 2014, the March updates bring us closer to the inevitable end of Windows XP’s support. As of today, 3-13-2014, you now have 26 days to upgrade your system before you get the last round of XP patches. Plus, update away from Office 2003, as it will join XP in the support graveyard.