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MSFT July Patch Tuesday Retires Windows XP SP2 and 2000

Microsoft’s July update is a small step for security updates, but a huge leap for enterprise security. Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2 are being retired from official support today and will not receive security updates anymore. Our own internal statistics indicate that approximately 50 % of Windows XP machines are still on the SP2 level and external surveys put the number of organizations that still depend on SP2 at 77 %. This month there are four bulletins, two for security flaws in Windows and two for Microsoft Office. We rank MS10-042 as the most urgent update: It covers Windows XP (both SP2 and SP3) and Windows 2003 and addresses the Windows Help and Support Center vulnerability published by Tavis Ormandy in a much discussed full disclosure move. Microsoft showed a quick turnaround time on this update.

Next on our list is MS10-045 because it undermines the security model of attachments in Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft classified the vulnerability only as "important", but it allows an attacker to camouflage malicious files as a safe file type. An example would be to pass off an executable as a simple text file. All versions of Outlook are affected, excluding the newest Outlook 2010. The second Microsoft Office update, MS10-044 is a vulnerability in a Microsoft Access ActiveX component, is ranked critical and should be treated as a priority as well.

Last on our list is MS10-043, a vulnerability in the CDD display driver for Windows 7 and Windows 2008R2. It is ranked critical, but there are a number of mitigating factors; it is only applicable to 64 bit versions and requires a fairly high display resolution. The priority of the update depends on your environment.

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