For the past 7 years Microsoft has released security patches for their products on the second Tuesday of each month. Following tradition, Microsoft just issued its largest security patch ever on October 12th, Patch Tuesday. Let me say again that this is the largest patch ever from Microsoft. A total of 49 vulnerabilities are fixed with 16 patches and this far exceeds the previous record of 34.
One of the most notorious exploits, that was mostly fixed, was the Stuxnet virus. This is the virus that attacked the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran earlier this year. I think it was a mistake when we coined the word “virus” to describe these attacks. We forget that what we call a virus is a direct attack by an individual or group. It’s almost as if we accept virus activity like we would accept having a cold. Make no mistake, this virus is not about a few stolen credit card numbers. There is a war going on. There are good guys and bad guys. The good guys are called “White Hat Hackers”, the bad guys are called “Black Hat Hackers”, and they are locked in mortal combat.
The introduction of the Stuxnet Virus changed the game. It amazed and horrified all the current experts. The attack on Bushehr was and still is, a big deal. The Stuxnet virus attacked a physical plant, and a nuclear plant at that. No longer a simple attack on software but a full blown attack on hard objects.