Microsoft IE Patch Opens New Opportunities

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Modernizing Authentication - What It Takes to Transform Secure Access

Microsoft's emergency patch created to fix a serious security vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer, will install automatically. But solution providers can use the patch as an opportunity to fix browsers, tune up systems and install better security protections.

Good news: Microsoft’s patch for the massive Internet Explorer vulnerability that exposed millions of Web users to surreptitious malware infections will automatically install during regularly scheduled or on-demand updates. Even better, Channel Insider testing of the patch found no major conflicts caused by the patch.

While an automatic IE patch may seem to exclude solution providers from fixing this security nightmare, the truth is the severity and pervasiveness of the vulnerability actually creates an opportunity for solution providers to talk with customers about their security practices and posture.

Security vendor Trend Micro discovered the vulnerability more than a week ago, almost immediately after Microsoft released one of its largest security updates on Patch Tuesday. The vulnerability allows malicious software—viruses, worms and Trojans—hidden on compromised or hostile Web sites to transparently download on to the host PC. Trend Micro reported on Tuesday that more than 6,000 Web sites had been compromise to target the IE vulnerability.

At first, Microsoft claimed only IE 7, the latest installment in the Explorer line, was affected by the vulnerability and advised setting Security Zones to high. Further analysis revealed all IE versions suffered from the same vulnerability, prompting the out-of-cycle patch released Wednesday.

CLICK HERE: The Microsoft Security Bulletin on the IE Vulnerability

The IE patch, KB960714, will download and install whenever the automatic update is scheduled to retrieve new instructions from Microsoft.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com