Updates 2010-01-21

Hey folks!

Microsoft has released an out-of-cycle update for a vulnerable library from Internet Explorer that is used within many other applications (Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Trillian, Visual Basic, Access, Word, Excel, and many many others) as well as an update to Silverlight. These are both security updates. You should visit Microsoft Update immediately to install them. Depending on what you have open at the time of installation, a reboot may be required.

Apple released security updates for all current versions of OSX as well as updates to Main Stage, Logic Pro, Unitor, Boot Camp, Graphic and Firmware updates, as well as a Firmware restoration CD. This includes security updates. All of them except the restoration CD can be obtained from Apple Update. Download the cd here:
Use the “Apple Updater” to get the most recent versions of all the other affected software.

Java Runtime 6u18 now natively supports Windows 7 and adds several dozen bugfixes. This is a security update. All users should update ASAP:
If you’re using a 64bit machine and use both 32bit and 64bit browsers, you should also install the 64bit version, available here:

Adobe Shockwave Player was released earlier this week. This is a security update.
As with all Adobe products, be sure to uncheck any toolbars, add-ons and other “offers” both during download and during installation.

Adobe Reader 9.3 includes multiple security fixes. This version replaces all previous versions of Adobe Reader. This is a security update. If you have not installed 9.3 yet, you should do so IMMEDIATELY as these vulnerabilities are being exploited by a piece of “broken” malware that has so far brought half a dozen clients computers down completely, and it has been a *major* chore to get them up and running again. If you’re using Adobe Reader 9.x, use “Help, Check for updates” to upgrade to the most current version. If you’re using a version of Adobe Reader prior to 9.x, get Adobe Reader 9.3 here:
As with all Adobe products, be sure to uncheck any toolbars, add-ons and other “offers” both during download and during installation.

Important Notes

Everything above this section should be checked by everyone on every computer. Chances are good that close to every single computer you touch will be affected by those updates, excepting only the Windows/Apple items. This is not the case with the items below, though you should still check each line item below to see if it applies to software you have installed. Wherever possible, I try to start each item with the product name followed by the new version number and the severity of the update, in order to facilitate a quick scan through the list to identify applications that apply to you.

Please remember that while I list many different applications within these updates, most people should ONLY install updates for a program if they already have a previous version of that program installed.

It is essential to maintain all the applications you have installed on your computer, but often you can minimize the time investment and the potential for exploitation simply by uninstalling software you do not need.

Internet Updates
One or more of these are likely to be of interest to everyone.

Trillian for Windows 4.1 adds over a hundred new features, including better Facebook, Twitter and Windows 7 support, clearer notifications and a reintroduction of news feeds. This is not a security update.

Thunderbird 3.0.1 corrects several security and reliability bugs, and also improves the user interface for attachment handling. This is a security update.

Security Software Updates
One or more of these is likely to be of interest to most people.

AVG Free Edition 9.0.730 improves polymorphic detection methods. This is a security update. Download using the link below for NEW 9.x installations, otherwise use the AVG Updater to get the upgrade to the latest version.

Avast! Free Antivirus 5.0.377 improves the antivirus and antispyware engines, adds a code emulator to better detect runtime virus compilation used by many newer malware packages, an heuristics engine, multithreading improvements, behavior shield and new “silent” mode (intended for uninterrupted processing during media and gaming). This is a major update to Avast!. This is a security update. If you already use Avast! you’ll need to download this package to update your installation to the next major version as support for 4.x will be discontinued in the near future.

a-squared Free corrects an issue with the cookie quarantine feature. This is not a security update.

Media Updates
These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

WinAmp 5.572 adds a dozen fixes primarily aimed at Windows 7 compatibility, though also includes security updates to several incorporated third party libraries. This is a security update.

CDBurnerXP fixes a handful of non-security bugs, and adds return codes to the command-line processor, making automation of the program far more complete. This is not a security update.

Vista Codec Package 5.5.3 updates various codecs. This is not a security update.

Google SketchUp 7.1.6860 adds a variety of compatibility and usability features, including photo textures and better support for large models. This is not a security update.

Utility Updates
These are unlikely to be of interest to most people.

TeraCopy 2.12 adds multimonitor support, event processing and corrects an autostart bug. This is not a security update.

SysInternals tools Desktops, ProcDump, Sigcheck and Diskview, were updated earlier this week. The most significant update corrects reliability issues within the Desktops application for Windows 7 x64 support.

Web Package Updates
These are likely to be of interest only to web developers.

WordPress MU 2.9.1 and were released this week, updating the features to match those of WordPress 2.9.1 and fixing at least two major security vulnerabilities. If you use WordPress MU, install these updates ASAP!

That’s all for now folks. Keep it clean out there. 😉


Shawn K. Hall

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