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Patch Tuesday brings Microsoft fixes and Adobe Shockwave update

Critical fixes for Windows and IE among update load

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Microsoft and Adobe have delivered the February edition of their monthly security updates.

The two firms kicked off the second Patch Tuesday of the year by each releasing fixes for critical vulnerabilities that could allow for remote code execution.

For Microsoft, the monthly release consists of six bulletins which address a total of 31 recorded CVE flaws. Four of the updates have been rated by Microsoft as critical and three have been given top priority ratings with Microsoft warning that working exploits will likely surface in the next 30 days.

The three high-priority updates include a cumulative fix for Internet Explorer which addresses two dozen different memory corruption vulnerabilities in the web browser. If exploited, the flaws could allow an attacker to remotely execute code on systems running IE versions 6 through 11 and all desktop versions from Windows XP through Windows 8.

The other two critical fixes address remote code execution flaws in the Windows VBScript and Direct2D components. Those flaws are also listed as critical for all currently supported versions of Windows.

Microsoft said that all three bulletins should be considered top priority fixes as working exploit code on the flaws is likely to surface over the next 30 days. A fourth critical bulletin, addressing a remote code execution flaw in Exchange, is being held as a lower priority as working exploits are far less likely.

The remaining three Microsoft bulletins were being rated by the company as important risks. They include a fix for an elevation of privilege flaw in .NET, an information disclosure bug in XML Core Services, and a denial of service flaw related to the handling of IPv6 data.

Adobe, meanwhile, has issued its own fix on Patch Tuesday. The company said that its monthly release for February consists of a single update for a remote code execution flaw in the Shockwave media player platform. The patch will fix critical flaws in both Windows and OS X systems.

Users who are installing the Adobe fix would be wise to also make sure that they have installed last week's Flash update, which fixes an actively-exploited flaw in Flash for Windows, OS X, and Linux systems.

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