Oracle has released a critical security update that fixes at least 51 security vulnerabilities in its Java software. Patches are available for Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows versions of the software.
The second Tuesday of the month is upon us, and that means it’s once again time to get your patches on, people (at least for you folks running Windows or Adobe products). Microsoft today pushed out nine patch bundles to plug security holes in Windows and its other products. Separately, Adobe issued updates for its Flash and Shockwave media players that address four distinct security holes in each program.
The Common Vulnerability & Exposures (CVE) index, the industry standard for cataloging software security flaws, is growing so rapidly that it will soon be adding a few more notches to its belt: The CVE said it plans to allow for up to 100 times more individual vulnerabilities to be indexed each year to accommodate an increasing number of software flaw reports.
Adobe and Microsoft have each released security updates to fix critical security flaws in their software. Microsoft issued seven update bundles to fix at least 10 vulnerabilities in Windows and other software. Separately, Adobe pushed out a fix for its Flash Player and AIR software that address at least three critical vulnerabilities in these programs.
Vulnerability management firm Secunia has shipped a new version of its auto-patching tool — Personal Software Inspector 3.0 – a program for Windows users that can drastically simplify the process of keeping up-to-date with security patches for third-party software applications.
The final release of PSI 3.0 supports programs from more than 3,000 software vendors, and includes some key changes that address shortcomings identified in the beta version that I highlighted back in February.
A new version of the Personal Software Inspector (PSI) tool from vulnerability management firm Secunia automates the updating of third-party programs that don’t already have auto-updaters built-in. The new version is a welcome development for Internet users who are still searching their keyboards for the “any” key, but experienced PSI users will probably want to stick with the current version.
Google warned on Wednesday that hackers were launching targeted phishing attacks against hundreds of Gmail account users, including senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, military personnel and journalists. That story, as related in a blog post on the Official Google Blog, was retold in hundreds of media outlets today as the latest example of Chinese cyber espionage: The lead story in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal today was, “Google: China Hacked Email.”
The fact that hackers are launching extremely sophisticated email attacks that appear to trace back to China makes for great headlines, but it isn’t exactly news. I’m surprised by how few media outlets took the time to explain the mechanics behind these targeted attacks, because they offer valuable insight into why people who really ought to know better keep falling for these attacks. I also think a more complete accounting of the attacks may give regular Internet users a better sense of the caliber of scams that are likely to target them somewhere down the road.
Comcast, the nation’s largest residential Internet service provider, announced last week that it is expanding an initiative to contact customers whose PCs appear to be infected with a malicious bot program.
The Philadelphia-based cable Internet company is expanding nationwide a pilot program that began in Denver last year, which automatically informs affected customers with an e-mail urging them to visit the company’s security page. The system also sends the customer’s browser a so-called “service notice,” a semi-transparent banner that overlays a portion of whatever page is being displayed in the user’s Web browser.
Security vulnerability research firm Secunia has released a public beta of its Personal Software Inspector tool, a program designed to help Microsoft Windows users keep their heads above water with the torrent of security updates for third-party applications. The new beta version includes the promised auto-update feature that can automatically apply the latest patches for a growing number of widely-used programs.