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Patch Tuesday omits critical Word fix

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September's Patch Tuesday leaves users waiting for a fix to defend against a zero-day exploit in Microsoft Word, targeted by malware authors over recent days.

Microsoft released three updates yesterday to address a critical flaw in Microsoft Publisher, an important security update for the pragmatic general multicast (PGM) networking communications protocol and a less serious (moderately rated) security fix for software bugs in Microsoft indexing service. A summary of Microsoft patches can be found here.

Security experts reckon it's likely to be another month before users get their hands on a fix for the Microsoft Windows flaw. Patch distribution firm PatchLink advises IT administrators to turn on the "safe mode" feature of Word installations. The use of content inspection technology, where available, can also mitigate against the threat, it adds.

In related news, Macromedia Flash Player from Adobe comes bundled with various versions of Win XP, so users need to apply a security fix from Adobe issued on Tuesday, Microsoft notes. ®

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