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

Graham Cluley

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.

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 Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.
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