Microsoft Releases 3 Critical Patches for December

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Corp. has released three new software patches that will target all Windows systems that have been marked with a "critical" status -- the highest threat level.

The new patches are said to resolve complications in Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser, Windows Media Player, and Visual Studios 2005 software, which allow a remote attacker to run malicious code on a victim's computer. (Source:

Microsoft has also released four additional patches that will target problems that have "important" status. These patches pertain to complications in Microsoft's Outlook Express email program.

Constructing a patch can be a complex endeavor, as programmers must be careful that the patch only fixes the problem areas of the operating system while leaving the non-affected areas alone. Microsoft must also test the patch multiple times to ensure that the application will not fail to run. (Source:

Microsoft is also attempting to program an additional "patch" which targets a flaw in their word processor program (such as MS Word). For the last few years, users have complained about lax security in MS Windows which allows hackers easy access to a system if a malicious email document (typically a .DOC file) is opened by an unsuspecting user.

While Microsoft empathizes with its users, the general consensus is that those within the company have dismissed a number of complaints, stating that the source of recent attacks is likely an isolated criminal outfit that is incapable of spreading to a large number of Windows users.

The new patches will continue to target the problem areas initially affected, while offering more secure features to deter future exploits. (Source:

While Microsoft has openly admitted that these patches are only makeshift bandages, many are still happy with Microsoft's attempt at temporarily alleviating some of the problems while they continue to look for new ways of developing a more established operating system. (Source:

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