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Microsoft Launches Biggest Security Patch Cycle Ever

Setting a busy week ahead for IT administrators and managers, Microsoft in its traditional Patch Tuesday cycle released security patches for a record number of vulnerabilities, addressing 31 security issues in its Windows operating systems, Office suite, Internet Explorer, and other products.

The security-updates were bundled into 10 different bulletins, five of which have been dubbed “critical”, with as many as 15 of the 31 vulnerabilities are expected to be exploited within next 30 days or so. With such a notable count of security patches, Microsoft has comfortably surpassed its previous record of 26 vulnerabilities it patched back both in August 2006 and August 2008.

The update, codenamed as “MS09-019”, plugs as many as eight security holes in its IE web browser, including the vulnerability that enabled a hacker to perform arbitrary codes remotely on systems running the latest iteration of IE 8 at the Pwn2Own hacker contest back in March.

Another security patch addresses the WebDAV vulnerability in the software maker’s Internet Information Services server that enabled hackers gain access to some of the restricted parts of a server by plugging a specially crafted address into the browser.

In addition to this, Microsoft also plugged a variety of security holes in its Excel, Windows Server, Windows Search, and Office suite.

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Our Comments

Never thought there would be that many patches. 31 security patches for applications as mature as Windows XP or Office is quite a big number. It is very likely that the next few months will see another record number of patches released as more people play around with Windows 7, Office 2010 and IE8.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.