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Microsoft, Adobe throw fire blanket over blaze of security flaws

Patch Tuesday - just in time for Exploit Friday

Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft has fixed 26 security flaws, at least five of which are critical, in its software. At least one of the holes is being actively exploited by hackers to compromise Windows computers.

The latest Patch Tuesday update from the company addresses these vulnerabilities, which are present in workstations and servers running Redmond operating systems.

Most pressing of the critical batch is MS12-060, which is a fault in Windows Common Control that is being exploited in the wild. Victims merely have to open booby-trapped RTF files and Office documents, or visit a maliciously constructed web page, to fall foul of an attack. The files could be sent as email attachments.

Other critical flaws exist in the Remote Administration Protocol (RAP) of Windows Networking; Internet Explorer versions 6 to 9; the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) server in Windows XP; and a module in the Outlook Web Access (OWA) component of Microsoft Exchange Server.

Microsoft's latest security bulletin can be found here. As usual, an easy-to-understand overview from the Internet Storm Centre can be found here.

In other patching news, Adobe also released two new versions of its Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader products. A patch for Adobe Flash Player addresses a zero-day vulnerability that has been used in targeted attacks. These assaults have involved tricking victims into opening Word documents with an embedded ActiveX Flash object.

More details on all these patches can be found on Adobe's website here. ®

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