Six of the security vulnerabilities in Microsoft's software are rated as critical
As part of its monthly patch distribution, Microsoft has issued a dozen security updates to address security holes in a variety of its products. The critical patches resolve issues in Word, Office, Internet Explorer and Microsoft's Malware Protection Engine, used in applications such as Windows OneCare and Windows Defender.
Of the twelve patches, six are listed as critical, which is Microsoft's highest level of severity reserved for flaws that could allow unauthorized users access to the system.
"Although none of the critical flaws have been exploited, Microsoft users need to get these patches in place pronto," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. "We are seeing a huge number of threats on infected web pages whose sole purpose is to exploit Microsoft vulnerabilities on innocent computers. Relying solely on anti-virus and firewalls is not enough - patching vulnerabilities should be near the top of the priority list."
Home users of Microsoft Windows can visit update.microsoft.com to have their systems scanned for 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 www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.mspx.
Sophos continues to recommend companies protect their desktops and servers with automatically updated protection against viruses, spyware, and spam.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.