Microsoft Releases Patches For 23 Vulnerabilities

Microsoft will be launching a bunch of updates for its Office application suite and Internet Explorer in a few hours' time; eight patches issued by the software giant will be addressing 23 vulnerabilities.

Of the eight security bulletins for this April's Patch Thursday, five have been labelled as critical; the most notable of them will take care of a zero-day flaw in Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet package that was discovered back in February 2009.

Patches numbered MS09-009, MS09-010 and MS09-012 will hopefully close a number of zero-day exploits rated as critical by Microsoft.

Various versions of Office are concerned with the latest patch release, both on Mac and Microsoft. Even Wordpad will receive an update due to the fact that it shares a vulnerability with Microsoft Word.

Commenting on the release, Wolfgang Kandek of Qualys said that it shows that there is a large number of exploits that are already available.

Out of the 23 listed, 10 already are named exploits or have proof-of-concept. This shows that hackers could still come up with malware to compromise computer systems as the patch window is shrinking.

April's roll out will also see the apparition of Internet Explorer 8 in the Automatic Update section, for XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008.

Users who will be going down this way won't need a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer 5, 6, and 7 released simultaneously that will fix a slew of public and privately disclosed vulnerabilities, which affect all versions of Windows.

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Our Comments

Don't delay, download today. It is critical that Windows users download those patches as soon as they are made available. For those on automatic updates, this should happen overnight. Chances are that hackers will be using a very short window of opportunity to try their luck.

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