Microsoft Security Bulletins for March 2013 Released

I guess this might explain why my PC decided to restart itself last night …

Yes it is this day of the month ago. Microsoft has just released this month collection of updates and patches for its products. A total of seven security bulletins have been released this month that resolve security related issues in programs such as Microsoft Office, Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Server Software.

Four of the seven bulletins have received a maximum severity rating of critical, the highest rating available for vulnerabilities, while the remaining three received one of important, the second highest rating available. What this means is that at least one affected product has received the rating, while other products may have received the same, a lower, or no rating at all if they are not affected by the vulnerability.

Operating system distribution

Here is the list of bulletins by operating system. First the desktop systems and then the server operating systems. Note that only two of the bulletins affect the Windows operating system or products that run on it. The remaining bulletins are for Office products and other Microsoft software.

  • Windows XP: 1 critical, 1 important
  • Windows Vista: 1 critical, 1 important
  • Windows 7:  1 critical, 1 important
  • Windows 8:  1 critical, 1 important
  • Windows RT: 1 critical
  • Windows Server 2003: 1 important, 1 moderate
  • Windows Server 2008: 1 important, 1 moderate
  • Windows server 2008 R2: 1 important, 1 moderate
  • Windows Server 2012: 1 important, 1 moderate

Deployment Guide

The Bulletin Deployment Priority table provides guidance to system administrators in regards to the order in which bulletins should be installed on affected computer systems. Microsoft suggests to start with MS13-021, MS13-022 and MS13-027 first and in that order, then with MS13-023 and MS13-024, before deploying MS13-025 and MS13-026. It goes without saying that these bulletins only need to be deployed on systems the products run on.

bulletin deployment priority march 2013 guide

severity exploitability index march 2013

The February 2013 bulletins

  • MS13-021Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2809289) – This security update resolves eight privately reported vulnerabilities and one publicly disclosed vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
  • MS13-022Vulnerability in Silverlight Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2814124) – This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Silverlight. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if an attacker hosts a website that contains a specially crafted Silverlight application that could exploit this vulnerability and then convinces a user to view the website. The attacker could also take advantage of compromised websites and websites that accept or host user-provided content or advertisements. Such websites could contain specially crafted content that could exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit a website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit a website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker’s website. It could also be possible to display specially crafted web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver web content to affected systems.
  • MS13-023Vulnerability in Microsoft Visio Viewer 2010 Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2801261) – This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted Visio file. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
  • MS13-024Vulnerabilities in SharePoint Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2780176) – This security update resolves four privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation. The most severe vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if a user clicks a specially crafted URL that takes the user to a targeted SharePoint site.
  • MS13-025 – Vulnerability in Microsoft OneNote Could Allow Information Disclosure (2816264) – This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft OneNote. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if an attacker convinces a user to open a specially crafted OneNote file.
  • MS13-026 – Vulnerability in Office Outlook for Mac Could Allow Information Disclosure (2813682) – This security update resolves one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office for Mac. The vulnerability could allow information disclosure if a user opens a specially crafted email message.
  • MS13-027Vulnerabilities in Kernel-Mode Drivers Could Allow Elevation Of Privilege (2807986) – This security update resolves three privately reported vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. These vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker gains access to a system.

Non-Security related updates

In addition to security related updates, Microsoft has also made available non-security related updates this month:

  • Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2718695)
  • Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2775511)
  • Update for Windows 8 (KB2781197)
  • Update for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (KB2790907)
  • Dynamic Update for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (KB2791338)
  • Update Rollup for Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 (KB2791647)
  • Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2791765)
  • Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Edition (KB2806748)
  • Update for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB2811660)
  • Update for Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Server 2012 (KB2812822)
  • Update for Internet Explorer Flash Player for Windows 8, Server 2012 and Windows RT (KB2824670)
  • Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool – March 2013 (KB890830)/Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool – March 2013 (KB890830) – Internet Explorer Version
  • Platform Update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2670838)
  • Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (KB2718695)

How to download and install the March 2013 updates

The recommended way to install these updates for home users is to use Windows Update. You can run a manual check for updates via the start menu. If you are using Windows 8, do the following instead:

On Windows 8 you tap on the Windows key to get to the start screen interface, enter Windows update, select Settings on the Charms Bar, and then Check for updates in the results listing.

Here you can click on check for updates to run a manual update check. Windows should pick up the new updates right away so that you can download and install them to your system.

windows update march 2013

The updates are also available on Microsoft’s Download Center where they can be downloaded as individual updates to the local system. That’s useful if they need to be deployed on a company network for example, or if you want greater control over the updating process itself.

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