Microsoft users urged to install security updates asap

Microsoft users are urged to install operating system and application updates being released tomorrow (August 14th), for both home and business computers. The updates will require a simple download and computer restart to take effect.

The software manufacturer releases regular security updates on the second Tuesday of the month, and tomorrow's release will contain nine security fixes – five of them rated critical. According to Microsoft, the five critical patches all fix vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to install malware without permission.

The affected programs include the Windows operating system, Internet Explorer, Office, SQL Server, Microsoft Server, Microsoft Developer Tools and Exchange.

The company said the five patches address ten critical flaws and highlighted an Exchange vulnerability that was discovered last month. According to Microsoft, third-party code in Oracle Outside In libraries affected Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, and FAST Search Server 2010 for SharePoint.

“In the most severe case of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, it is possible under certain conditions for the vulnerabilities to allow an attacker to take control of the server process that is parsing a specially crafted file,” Microsoft said. “An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or take any other action that the server process has access to do.”Of the four "important" patches, three also cover remote code execution issues in Windows and Office, with the last one blocking elevated privileges in Windows.

Installing the updates will require a restart.

For Get Safe Online information about installing software updates, click here.

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