We get another breather from new Windows and application fixes, giving us time to review some past problem patches.
Perhaps Redmond is too busy coding Windows 8 to find new things to fix in earlier Windows versions.
For those of you who heeded my warning about a recent .NET fix, and who also used Turbo Tax, you were able to complete your income taxes on time. Those who didn’t take heed might have had to wait for an update from Intuit or print out their tax returns via PDF. The offending patch was KB 2671605, and we’ve yet to receive a proper fix for it. So the update might still prevent printing from applications that use .NET for form printing.
The currently recommended workaround is to print to a PDF and then send the PDF off to your printer — a kludgy process, to be sure.
I’ve yet to see targeted attacks exploiting this vulnerability directly. Moreover, if you installed one of the .NET patches in MS11-044, you’ll get a security warning before an attack can be launched — as noted in an SRD blog post.
What to do: Unless you’ve already installed KB 2518864, KB 2530095, KB 2518864, or KB 2518870 on Windows XP systems; or KB 2518867, KB 2518870, or KB 2518869 on Windows 7 machines, I recommend taking a pass on KB 2671605 (MS12-025) for at least another few weeks.
I gave a thumbs-up to KB 2639185 (MS12-028) in the previous Patch Watch column. Since then, a few issues have cropped up with this update. But they don’t seem widespread, and Microsoft has posted a fixit for problems with Visual Basic 6 controls (documented in an Excel Support Team blog).