Microsoft will be delivering five updates on upcoming Patch Tuesday, two of which are deemed critical, meaning the vulnerabilities can be exploited to allow for code execution without any user interaction.
“The most important will definitely be the [Internet Explorer (IE)] patch which is expected to contain a fix for the current IE zero-day,” Tyler Reguly, manager of security research with Tripwire, told SCMagazine.com in an email statement.
The zero-day is a remote code execution vulnerability that impacts all versions of Internet Explorer. The flaw received a temporary patch from Microsoft in February, shortly after researchers with FireEye revealed that the vulnerability was being served up in a compromise of the U.S. veterans website.
The second critical patch addresses a vulnerability in mostly all Windows operating systems, and the remaining updates address important bugs in Windows and Silverlight, according to an advance notification released Thursday by Microsoft.
“Given the limited adoption of Silverlight and the implied support Microsoft gave Flash when they bundled it in IE 11, it's surprising that Silverlight has not been shelved yet,” Reguly said. “In a world filled with so many web technologies, vendors could better serve the public by simply limiting choice and removing dead weight.”
Microsoft also announced this week that it will begin serving up notification prompts to users that have yet to upgrade from Windows XP, warning them that the still widely used operating system will no longer be supported beginning April 8.