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Microsoft Issues First Patches For Vista

Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that two of the 12 security bulletins issued last week affect Windows Vista Beta 2, the widely-used preview, and posted download instructions for the first security updates to its next-generation operating system.

"We are committed to releas[ing] Windows Vista updates for all MSRC [Microsoft Security Response Center] critical class issues that may arise during the beta testing period," wrote Alex Heaton, product manager for the Windows Vista security team, on the group's blog.

Out of the dozen bulletins released Aug. 8, two -- MS06-042 and MS06-051 -- impact Vista Beta 2. "Of the seven critical Windows updates released in August, only 2 also affect Windows Vista Beta 2 or later," said Heaton.

MS06-042 is a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer that included patches for 8 different vulnerabilities; MS06-051 detailed a fix for a flaw in the Windows kernel that might let attackers hijack PCs by drawing users to malicious Web sites.

Neither bulletin, however, yet offers details on Vista Beta 2, nor even mention the operating system as among those impacted. The only explanation came from Heaton. "Microsoft does not include information about beta products in formal security bulletins." The company did not immediately respond to follow-up queries about how it released the Vista vulnerabilities' patches and why it chose to deliver them sans details.

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