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Office, IE, Flash fixes accompany Windows XP's final Patch Tuesday

Microsoft, Adobe move to fix more security flaws

Reducing security risks from open source software

Microsoft has released patches for critical security vulnerabilities in Word and Internet Explorer on what is to be the final Patch Tuesday update for Windows XP systems.

The April edition of the monthly security update contains four bulletins that address a total of 11 vulnerabilities in various Microsoft products. Two of the bulletins have been rated by the company as critical fixes, while the other two are classified as important updates.

The critical fixes include a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11 on Windows XP through Windows 8.1 and RT. The update, which is considered a critical fix for all non-server versions of Windows, addresses six flaws that would allow for remote code execution on a targeted system.

Researchers from Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro, Verisign iDefense Labs, and HP's Zero Day Initiative were credited in reporting the vulnerabilities to Microsoft.

The second of the critical patches will address a pair of remote code execution vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office. Users running Office 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 (both x86 and RT), and Office for Mac should consider the update to be a critical security fix.

Microsoft credited researchers from CERT/CC, Google Security team and independent researcher Yuhong Bao for discovering the Office flaws.

Administrators of Windows Server systems can breathe a bit easier this month: the critical bulletins are not considered to be serious risks for Server systems as neither Office nor Internet Explorer is a commonly used application.

The two "important" bulletins address remote code execution flaws in Windows and Microsoft Publisher. Both are considered lower-risk flaws, since users would need to manually download and launch attack files on their local systems in order for an attack to take place.

Adobe, meanwhile, released a scheduled update for its Flash Player web media tool. The update addresses four remote code execution vulnerabilities in Flash Player for Windows, OS X, and Linux desktops.

Windows and OS X users are advised to update to Flash Player 13.0.0.182 in order to obtain the April security patch. Linux users should update their Flash Player to version 11.2.202.350. Adobe AIR users on Android devices are being advised to update that software to version 13.0.0.83. ®

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