I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like hearing “record breaking” and “Microsoft Patch Day” in the same sentence. Unfortunately, April’s Black Tuesday will be just that — a record breaking patch day.
According to their Advanced Notification page, Microsoft plans to release an unprecedented 17 Security Bulletins tomorrow. The bulletins will fix security flaws in Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer (IE), as well as some issues in some of Microsoft’s Server and Developer software. Microsoft rates more than half the bulletins (nine) as Critical, which typically means attackers can leverage them to execute code on your computer, and gain control of it.
The quicker you can apply Microsoft’s patches the better. Attackers often take advantage of the “vulnerability window,” which is the period of time between when an attacker learns about a vulnerability and when you patch that vulnerability. Often, attackers and security researchers will reverse engineer Microsoft’s patches to learn more about the underlying vulnerabilities they fix. In fact, it’s not uncommon for exploit code to surface shortly after patch day. For this reason, I recommend you prepare your staff for a deluge of patches tomorrow, and try your best to test and apply them quickly, despite their great number.
I’ll know more about these bulletins tomorrow, and will publish alerts about them here. — Corey Nachreiner, CISSP