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Cortana, remind me to patch Windows, IE, and Adobe gear next Tues

Well, Microsoft's answer to Siri has got to be good for something

Website security in corporate America

Microsoft will release eight security updates next Tuesday to squash remote-code execution bugs in Windows and Internet Explorer among other flaws.

Meanwhile, Adobe will issue new versions of Acrobat and Reader for this month's Patch Tuesday.

Two of the security updates from Microsoft are rated as critical because they allow miscreants to execute code from on vulnerable systems from afar: the Windows operating system from Server 2003 to Windows 8, web browser Internet Explorer 6 to 11, and some SharePoint-related software, are all at risk.

The other six updates are labelled important – one is a remote-code exec hole, four lead to privilege escalation and one allows hackers to bypass security protections. The affected software includes Microsoft Office 2007 to 2013, Windows and the .NET Framework.

Redmond, as usual, holds off documenting the vulnerabilities in further detail prior to the patch release.

The May release will be the first in more than a decade to not include any bulletins for Windows XP. The venerable OS was officially retired from support by Microsoft last month, though subsequent exploitation of flaws in the OS by miscreants has forced the company to issue an out-of-band update.

Adobe, meanwhile, will issue an update for four versions of its Reader and Acrobat software. The Adobe fix will address critical flaws in both the Windows and OS X versions of Reader and Acrobat 10 and 11.

Users and administrators are advised to test (if needed) and deploy all of next Tuesday's patches as soon as possible, least they fall victim to exploits targeting the newly disclosed vulnerabilities. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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