After the massive February update Microsoft will only release 2 Bulletins next week. Both are rated as "important," a medium criticality rating for Microsoft. The first bulletin is for the Windows Operating System affecting the only desktop platforms XP, Vista and Windows 7. The second Bulletin is for Microsoft Office and applies to all versions on Windows (Office XP, 2003 and 2007) and Mac OS X (Office 2004 and 2008), plus SharePoint and the Excel Viewer.
The lower criticality ratings allow IT admins more time to address these March bulletins. It is likely that the Office vulnerabilities should be handled first, as file format vulnerabilities in general have been on the rise in the last year and end users frequently trust open office format files such as Excel due to their business oriented, serious nature.
Microsoft issued earlier this week an advisory KB981169 for a clever attack through Internet Explorer. It requires the end user to press F1 in a pop-up box, so the main defense is make your users aware of the existence of the flaw and instruct them to get in touch with IT should this happen.
Stay tuned for our detailed analysis on next Tuesday.