Microsoft gears up for nine patches next week
Microsoft Corp. today said it will release nine security updates next Tuesday, half again as many as last month, targeting flaws in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer (IE) and Virtual PC.
Of the nine bulletins expected Aug. 14, six will be labeled "critical," Microsoft's highest rating, with the remaining three ranked "important." Vulnerabilities slated to be fixed by eight of the nine updates, however, have been pegged as remote code executable, a sure sign that the bugs are very dangerous, and if exploited, could easily allow a PC to be hijacked by hackers.
Microsoft Windows, including Vista, will be the focus of four of the nine updates, with one of those Vista fixes pegged critical. Other critical patches will be provided for Microsoft Office in general, Excel in particular, Visual Basic 6.0 and IE, the company's market-leading browser. Of the bulletins labeled important, fixes will be issued for Windows Vista, Windows Media Player, Virtual PC and Virtual Server and IE.
Vista is especially hard-pressed in the advance notification, which Microsoft posted to its security site early today. Five of the nine, or just over half, of the updates patch Vista or a component of the new operating system, such as IE 7 or Media Player 11.