Microsoft to Fix Windows, Office Flaws Next Week

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has announced it will issue six security updates next Tuesday. Together, the updates will patch 11 different bugs affecting Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and other Microsoft programs.

It's worth noting that Microsoft has ranked four of the 11 fixes "critical," the software giant's highest security warning.

"Critical" Bulletin 4 Fixes Office, and More

The security update currently receiving the most attention is Bulletin 4. It is designed to repair a serious security vulnerability in a number of different Microsoft programs.

The list of software due for repair includes Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2010, as well as SQL Server 2000 to 2008 R2, BizTalk Server 2002, Commerce Server 2002 to 2009 R2, Visual FoxPro 8, and Visual Basic 6 Runtime.

Experts say this is a huge list of products. Naturally, Office 2003 to 2010 are the repairs earning the most attention from home and business users.

Security experts expect the wide range of programs needing to be updated with the forthcoming patch will keep most network administrators very busy.

"When administrators get this patch, the amount of due diligence necessary will be a lot more than the usual update," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security. (Source:

As for the threat posed by the Bulletin 4 flaw, not much has been revealed by Microsoft. Experts speculate that it's been marked critical primarily because it involves so many widely-used Microsoft products.

Internet Explorer Also Due For a Fix

In the same set of patches, Bulletin 1, which is also marked critical, repairs a serious vulnerability in Internet Explorer, Microsoft's popular web browser. Four versions of the browser are reportedly affected, from Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) to Internet Explorer 9 (IE9).

Other patches will address flaws in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, as well as Microsoft Works 9 and the Forefront Unified Access Gateway 2010 platform.

Although Works hasn't been an active Microsoft product for two years, the company had previously committed to supporting it through the end of 2012.

For those of you keeping track at home, so far this year Microsoft has released six fewer security bulletins than during the same period in 2011 (34 vs. 28). (Source:

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