Patch your computers now – Microsoft and Adobe roll out critical security fixes for widely used software

Adobe Flash, Internet ExplorerYesterday was the second Tuesday of the month which means… yes, you guessed it… it was “Patch Tuesday”.

“Patch Tuesday” is the name given to the regular monthly bundle of security fixes that Microsoft published for users of its computer software. It’s essential, if you use Microsoft software, that your computers are updated with these security updates – or they could be left exposed to hacker attack.

In particular, as we discussed in a previous post, the latest updates include a critical fix for Internet Explorer that is already being exploited by online criminals.

Aside from a number of fixes for Internet Explorer, other Microsoft software included in the patch bundle are Lync (formerly Microsoft Office communicator), .NET, Publisher, Visio, Windows, Windows Essentials, and Word.

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In the most serious cases, some of the vulnerabilities could be exploited by a malicious hacker to run malware on unpatched Windows computers.

In all, a total of 33 vulnerabilities are patched this month by Microsoft. Full details can be found in Microsoft’s May 2013 Security Bulletin Summary.

Oh, but before you get too relaxed, Adobe has also published a bunch of security updates too – meaning even more work for users of ColdFusion, Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

If you’re responsible for maintaining the security of your computer, make sure you are on top of security updates and rolling them out in a timely fashion.

For many people, the simplest choice is to allow security updates to be installed automatically on your home computers – and cross your fingers that your software vendor knows what they are doing.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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