Microsoft patches 19 critical vulnerabilities in Patch Tuesday

July's security update is smaller than previous months, but includes some important fixes

Microsoft has patched 54 vulnerabilities in Windows and other software its latest Patch Tuesday security fix bonanza.

The updates, 19 of which are critical, are bundled into 12 patches and cover flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, .NET Framework and Exchange.

Security firm Qualys has picked out one update in particular that it says is most critical for businesses: an exploit in the Windows Search Service affecting all currently supported versions of Windows Server and Windows desktop operating systems that could lead to a remote attack carried out via the Server Message Block (CVE-2017-8589).

Although the Server Message Block was at the centre of the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks, this patch is unrelated to that vulnerability. In fact, although the SMB can be used to leverage the attack, it's not a vulnerability in the SMB itself per se.

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Qualys also picks out the patch for CVE-2017-8563 as a priority for admins to update.

"While Microsoft categorizes the patches for this vulnerability as 'Important,' it could be leveraged in targeted attacks to elevate privileges and obtain system-level access to domain controllers," said product management director Jimmy Graham in a blog post. "This is similar to other known vulnerabilities in NTLM itself. Please note that this patch does require extra configuration steps to implement the added security."

While most of the updates apply to the 'usual suspects', like Windows and Office, there is one outlier - CVE-2017-8584, a vulnerability in HoloLens.

Karl Sigler, threat intelligence manager at security firm Trustwave, said in a blog post: "Since the platform (HoloLens) is still in its infancy and primarily targeted at developers rather than consumers, it's nice to see that security is being addressed so early."

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