Microsoft will release 11 security updates next week, with four labelled 'critical'.

That means October's 'Patch Tuesday' will include the same number of fixes Microsoft released in August, the biggest number of patches the software giant had delivered in 18 months. This month's updates tackle problems in Windows, Active Directory, Internet Explorer, Office and Host Integration Server.

Microsoft's advance notification provides only basic details of the updates, but the company said seven of the 11 patches updates will address vulnerabilities that could be used to execute remote code, whereby hackers could inject their own malicious code into vulnerable PCs

The Active Directory, Internet Explorer, Excel and Microsoft Host Integration Server bugs were tagged 'critical'.