Microsoft Patches & Updates for June 2010 Microsoft Patches & Updates for June 2010 | Bill Hely's "Computer & Online Security" Blog

Microsoft Patches & Updates for June 2010

by Bill Hely

Calendar-June-2010

Microsoft Updates time is here again, and this is an exceptionally large and very important batch of patches and updates. Exactly how many will apply to you depends on your Windows/Office versions, but in total Microsoft has classified 3 updates as “critical” and seven as “important”, designed to fix a total of 34 vulnerabilities.

On the second Tuesday of each month Microsoft releases software patches & updates for their various products, so this is a very important day for all Windows users who care about their privacy and security [full summary here].

Why? Well..

Often a Microsoft patch or update will close a vulnerability that, if left unaddressed, could allow an attacker to take complete control of your computer.

And that’s something you REALLY don’t want!

Keeping your installation patched up-to-date is so important that, whether or not you have Automatic Updates enabled, at this time of each month it’s still wise to manually double-check that everything that matters has been installed. Don’t be put off by the word “manually” — it’s a quick and easy process.

HERE’S HOW…

But Don’t Stop There!

In the column on the left-hand side you will see links for:

  • Software, Optional (n)
  • Hardware, Optional (n)

The number in brackets indicates how many updates of that type are applicable to your computer. If the number is anything other than (0) then click that link and investigate, installing the update if necessary (or if in doubt). Similarly, you may find relevant updates in one of the links under “Select by Product”, so do the same with any of those.

WEBCAST:
Each month, in association with Patch Tuesday, Microsoft presents an online Webcast to address customer questions on the bulletins for that month. Webcasts are usually initially presented on the Wednesday, the day after Patch Tuesday, at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada). They are also recorded and available for later viewing. To register for a Webcast or to view Webcasts that have passed, click this link.

By the way, if you’re not in the US/Canadian Pacific Time Zone, SymmTime is a great on-screen world time utility for converting times around the world. It’s free and highly configurable.

Did you know…

Many of the malware threats that you are frequently warned about in the various news and information media, on and off-line, should never be the slightest threat to you.

How come? Well, because…

If you made a habit of applying the patches & updates that are issued by Microsoft every month, you would be IMMUNE from infection by many of the tens of thousands of threats currently circulating on the Internet, with more being churned out by the cyber-grubs on an almost daily basis.

The vast majority of these threats get into your computer by exploiting some known vulnerability in Windows. When one of these vulnerabilities is patched by Microsoft, the threat becomes benign — but only if you have applied the free patch to your version of Windows.

So remember…

You Ignore Patches & Updates at Your Peril!

PS: When you read some of the related articles below you will encounter numerous instances of “Microsoft recommends updating Internet Explorer to version 8″ and “Microsoft recommends avoiding blah blah blah” and etc. Listen up! You’ll be orders of magnitude safer if you take my advice instead — download the free Firefox browser and give Internet Explorer the flick. IE has been a real security problem for a long time and it’s going to continue to be so well into the future. Firefox is a far better browser in every respect.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JEFF June 9, 2010 at 12:10 pm

yup……i get the update advisory from MS via email….anyone can “subscribe”

Reply

2 Rod Colquhoun June 10, 2010 at 3:34 am

Bill,
while appreciating very much your comments about ditching IE (I have used Firefox for some time now), the hang of it all is that to get the patches from Microsoft, one has to use IE5 or later.
Is there any workaround to that box canyon ?

Rod

Reply

3 Bill Hely June 10, 2010 at 9:49 am

@Rod Colquhoun

Well, firstly, you can enable automatic updates without activating a browser.

Windows XP: Start –> Control Panel –> Automatic Updates
Windows Vista: Start –> All Programs –> Windows Update –> Change Settings
Windows 7: Start –> Control Panel –> System and Security –> Windows Update –> Change Settings

My personal preference is to allow the automatic updates feature to download updates as they become available, but not automatically install them. I like to have a look at the updates before they are installed. That updates have been automatically downloaded and are awaiting installation is indicated by a Microsoft shield icon in the System Tray to the right of the task-bar. A pop-up will remind you periodically that this icon is awaiting attention.

For the manual checking of available updates (which I recommend), I find Firefox works just fine when you browse to http://update.Microsoft.com. My Firefox version is 3.6.3.

But if that just won’t work for you “out-of-the-box” you might want to try installing the ‘IE Tab’ add-on for Firefox. Full details here: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419/

Reply

4 Nick June 17, 2010 at 3:20 am

I ran Windows Updates on a Server 2008 R2 box last night that had the box down for 3 hours. I just did another, same thing. Anyone know what’s taking this long this time around?

Reply

5 Bill Hely June 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Sorry Nick, haven’t encountered anything like that myself.

However, one resource where you might find someone who can contribute is the “WINNT-L: Windows NT/2000 Discussion List”. Disregard the “NT/2000″ reference — this list has been operating a long time and the participants are a very knowledgeable bunch who discuss and help each other with knotty problems in all versions of Windows.

I strongly recommend membership of this list for anyone who has professional IT responsibilities. Here’s the info page:

http://peach.ease.lsoft.com/archives/winnt-l.html

PS. I emphasize *PROFESSIONAL* IT responsibilities — lists like this are not intended to cater for the amateur home user.

Reply

6 Bill July 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I get automatic updates and notification

Reply

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