Microsoft Releases WMF Patch Early

    January 5, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Rather than wait through the weekend until Patch Tuesday, Microsoft made a patch for the critical flaw available today.

Windows machines began responding to a message from the mothership in Redmond: your patch is waiting, come and get it. While several reports claimed Microsoft would not release the patch out-of-cycle, the company instead made it available on its security website and through Automatic Updates.

The flaw posed such a widespread threat due to numerous reports of exploits in the wild, security experts called for users to implement an unofficial patch rather than wait for the official one, a course of action virtually unheard of in security circles.

That was followed by the official patch being leaked from Microsoft onto the Internet. The combination of events may have forced Microsoft’s hand, in releasing the official patch ahead of next Tuesday.

Microsoft rated the flaw as Critical for Windows 2000, XP, and 2003 versions. A vulnerability in the graphics rendering engine could permit a malicious attacker to perform remote code execution on a Windows machine. Microsoft has urged all Windows users to update their systems with available patches to limit the threats to their systems.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.