[ Windows 7 is making huge inroads into business IT. But with it comes new security threats and security methods. InfoWorld's expert contributors show you how to secure the new OS in the "Windows 7 Security Deep Dive" PDF guide. ]
"Windows 7 users will be offered Bulletin 7 as a defense-in-depth update even though the [advanced notification] states that the issue does not affect Windows 7," said Jerry Bryant, a group manager with the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), in one of several emails replying to questions. "This means that the vulnerable code is in the software, but due to the improved protections built into Windows 7, there are no known vectors to reach it."
In other words, the vulnerability is there -- in Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008 -- but Microsoft doesn't know how it could be exploited.
Better safe than sorry, security experts said.
"Absolutely, it's a good practice to fix these bugs," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security. "Just a year ago, DEP [data execution prevention] and ASLR [address space layout randomization] were mitigating nearly every vulnerability for Internet Explorer on Vista. Yet we are seeing a steady rise in more researchers' finding and taking advantage of DEP bypass methods. And if DEP bypass continues to happen more often, then we'll be happy that Microsoft issued these fixes."
Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer of security risk and compliance management provider Qualys, not only agreed, but cited DEP and ASLR circumventions as well. "Installing the update for Windows 7, Server 2008 and Vista is definitely a recommended, and preemptive, action," he said. "We have seen cases in the past where attackers were able to string together multiple vulnerabilities to reach their goal, most recently at CanSecWest where Peter Vreugdenhil used two bypasses to first get by ASLR, then DEP when he exploited IE8."