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Microsoft issues security patch for unreleased software

Security update fixes critical hole in pre-beta version of Windows 7 operating system, due to be distributed to attendees of PDC 2008 on Tuesday.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

Updated October 28 to correct that security patch was released last week and security advisory was released on Monday.

LOS ANGELES--Microsoft has released a security patch for software that won't be available publicly until Tuesday at the company's Professional Developer Conference.


Microsoft will be providing attendees of PDC 2008 on Tuesday with a pre-beta version of Windows 7, the successor to Windows Vista.

"A security issue has been identified that could allow an authenticated remote attacker to compromise your Microsoft Windows-based system and gain control over it," the security update says.

The more than 6,000 attendees who will be walking away from the sold-out event with the Windows 7 operating system software in hand could have been vulnerable to an attacker exploiting the security hole.

"The code that will be distributed at PDC for Windows 7 was put on CD before last week's security update was developed, so it will not contain the update," a Microsoft spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail request for comment. "However, when users install the pre-beta bits, they will be prompted to get the update from Windows Update, just like other Windows customers."

The security patch has been available since Wednesday. The critical security hole also affects Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003.