By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 11, 2012 02:30 PM EST
Microsoft will roll out the first major security updates for its brand new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Microsoft's monthly patch ritual called Patch Tuesday will now include fixes for Windows 8 and RT vulnerabilities, as well as for various security issues in versions of Windows XP, Vista, and 7. The security update will also address issues in various editions of Windows Server, Internet Explorer, Office, and the Microsoft.NET Framework.
The software giant announced the new Windows 8 security fixes in a recent bulletin, issued days after security company Vupen announced that it had found multiple vulnerabilities in Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.
Microsoft's security bulletin pointed to three "critical" vulnerabilities in its new operating system, affecting both the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows 8. The post also mentions one "critical" and one "important" issue in Windows RT.
According to Microsoft, vulnerabilities ranked as "critical" are the most severe, because they can be exploited to allow code execution without user interaction.
"Vulnerability whose exploitation could allow code execution without user interaction" is considered critical, according to Microsoft's security rating. "These scenarios include self-propagating malware (e.g. network worms), or unavoidable common use scenarios where code execution occurs without warnings or prompts. This could mean browsing to a Web page or opening email."
"[A] vulnerability whose exploitation could result in compromise in the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of user data, or of the integrity of processing resources," meanwhile, is ranked important rather than critical. "These scenarios include common use scenarios where client is compromised with warnings of prompts regardless of the prompt's provenance, quality, or usability. Sequences of user interactions that do not generate prompts or warnings are also covered."
Microsoft did not go into specifics regarding the Windows 8 and Windows RT security issues it found, but the company typically makes those details available once it releases the Patch Tuesday fixes.
Windows users who have enabled automatic security updates on their Windows device will get the updates from Microsoft without having to do anything. Microsoft will also make the updates available for download via its Download Center.
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