Microsoft has released six patches yesterday as part of its ritual patch Tuesday, three of which were flagged as critical and relate to Windows, Word, Publisher and Microsoft's own Malware Protection Engine.
Arguably the most important patch deals with the Microsoft Jet Database Engine which allows data to be exchanged between applications such as Microsoft Access and Visual Basic and has been present in Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003.
Microsoft has also patched two critical vulnerabilities in Word and Outlook when dealing with Rich Text Format documents and CSS code as well as one which affected Word 2000 and Publisher 2000.
All those critical weaknesses would have allowed hackers to attack victims' computers by executing malware code remotely with little or no intervention from the computer user.
The Malware Protection scanning Engine patch quashes two bugs that allowed third parties to launch denial of service attacks.
All the updates are available online or through Automatic updates.