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Microsoft patches 23 holes in Windows and Office

Antony Savvas

Microsoft has fixed 23 vulnerabilities in its Windows OS and Office productivity suite with 12 security patches, nine of them described as “critical” by the company.

Released as part of its monthly scheduled patching cycle, the patches address 20 flaws in Windows and three in Office.

The vulnerabilities tackled include a well publicised security fault in the PowerPoint presentation application, which is already being exploited in the wild.

In addition, there are threats just discovered by Microsoft which the company has acted upon before being publicised by security researchers.

Internet security software provider McAfee said the number of threats patched was the highest number yet since Microsoft started its monthly patching programme.

McAfee said 11 of the flaws were already publicised before Microsoft issued a patch for them yesterday.

Of particular concern to Microsoft is security bulletin MS06-040, which is a hole in Windows which allows remote attackers to take over users’ PCs using Windows file sharing technology.

The company says this flaw is already being used to attack users’ systems.

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