We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Microsoft discloses 5 critical security holes

Windows users advised to update patches

Microsoft has released eight security bulletins on its products, including five concerning vulnerabilities rated "critical".

The critical security holes affect versions of Windows, Internet Explorer, Exchange Server, MSN Messenger and Word. All of them could allow an attacker to take control of an affected system. Users should apply the newly released update immediately, the company advised.

Microsoft disclosed the vulnerabilities and provided patches for each in its regular monthly report on security problems in Microsoft products. The list released Tuesday also included non-critical problems with the Windows user interface or "shell," Message Queuing or "MSMQ" and the Windows kernel.

Microsoft has been putting out monthly security updates since October 2003. Despite the large number of security holes still being announced, the company maintains that the Trustworthy Computing initiative it began in 2002 is benefitting users. Customers who have the newest versions of Microsoft software generally are less affected by newly discovered vulnerabilities, a spokesperson recently claimed.

For example, users who have already rolled out Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 don't need to apply any of Tuesday's updates. Also, users of more recent versions of the company's products are more likely to face a threat below the critical level because of features that stymie attackers, he said. However, he acknowledged that there is more ground to cover.

"This is going to be a long-term effort by Microsoft," the spokesperson said. "We are not by any means done."

More information on the bulletins is available here.

IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

Watch this heartwarming Christmas short by Trunk for composer John Rutter

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad