24 Oct 2008 UPDATE: Microsoft issues critical out of cycle server security patch update for Windows
Microsoft has issued an advance notification that it is to release an emergency "critical" Windows patch today.
The lack of details around the patch for Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003 has prompted speculation that a serious vulnerability is involved.
Microsoft's Christopher Budd said the update would be released at 10h00 Pacific Time (18h00 UK time) in a security response centre blog posting late Wednesday.
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It is over a year since Microsoft released an emergency patch ahead of its scheduled patch releases on the second Tuesday of every month.
The last unscheduled patch in April 2007 fixed a vulnerability with .ani files that was being exploited by malicious code hosted on websites.
US media reports quote analysts as saying Microsoft must consider the bug to be serious for the software company to rush out this type of update.