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Microsoft to patch 'critical' PowerPoint hole

Zero-day relief expected

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Microsoft plans to patch a hole in its PowerPoint presentation program, the company said in an advanced bulletin that was notable because it contained only a single update.

As is almost always the case with advanced notification bulletins issued the first Thursday of the month, Microsoft didn't provide many details about the following Tuesday's release, except to say it carried a severity rating of "critical," the company's highest level. That makes it impossible to know for sure what vulnerabilities will be fixed, but it's not hard to guess.

The company warned last month that it was aware of "limited and targeted attacks that attempt to use this vulnerability," which required prospective marks to download and open booby-trapped PowerPoint documents.

Researchers at McAfee said at the time they were seeing "multiple attacks in the field using the PowerPoint exploit" to install Trojans onto vulnerable systems.

Twelve days later, during April's monthly patch batch release, Microsoft issued eight bulletins, but none for the actively-exploited PowerPoint bug.

This month's Patch Tuesday will be among the lightest ever, but will be by no means unprecedented. In January, the company also issued just a single update, though it failed to fix a known vulnerability in the company's SQL Server. The previous month, it released eight bulletins that patched a whopping 28 vulnerabilities. ®

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