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10 Oct 2006

Microsoft issues patches for critical security holes in Windows and Office

Companies and home users urged to apply fixes at earliest opportunity

Several of the security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software are classed as critical
Several of the security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software are classed as critical

As part of its monthly patch distribution, Microsoft has issued a series of new security updates for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office products (such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint). Several of the vulnerabilities addressed by the patches are categorized as critical. If left unpatched the vulnerabilities could allow hackers to remotely execute code (such as a worm) on vulnerable PCs.

"Microsoft is making the security headlines again, but not for a good reason. The discovery of this bumper batch of vulnerabilities means that it's time once again for businesses and home users to patch their PCs as soon as possible. On many occasions hackers have exploited vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software in the days immediately following an announcement of problems, so time is of the essence," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "To properly protect your PC from the hackers you need to ensure it is receiving regular security patches, as well as defended by anti-malware software and a strong firewall. Anything less is asking for trouble."

Home users of Microsoft Windows can visit to have their systems scanned for critical Microsoft security vulnerabilities.

Sophos suggests that every IT manager responsible for security should consider subscribing to vulnerability mailing lists such as that operated by Microsoft at

Sophos continues to recommend companies protect their desktops and servers with automatically updated protection against viruses, spyware, and spam.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at