Microsoft updates fix PowerPoint, Windows flaws

Microsoft has issued 12 security patches, nine of which address critical vulnerabilities in Windows and Office.

Microsoft issued nine security updates addressing critical flaws in its Office and Windows products. The updates patch two worrisome PowerPoint flaws that could allow attackers to seize control of a PC, the company said Tuesday.

This month's security updates also include three patches for less-severe Windows problems, making a total of 12 software fixes for system administrators to contend with.

Office applications like PowerPoint have come under increasing scrutiny of late.

Last month, Microsoft patched 12 Office vulnerabilities in its security patch release. Days later Symantec Corp. discovered that hackers were trying to exploit a new one by sending e-mail with malicious PowerPoint attachments. This malware installed a Trojan horse program, called Trojan.PPDDropper.B, and a backdoor program called Backdoor.Bifrose.E on the PCs of any user who opened the document.

The critical patches issued Tuesday cover a wide range of issues, including problems in Internet Explorer and the Windows kernel, help system and Server service. Outlook Express, the Microsoft Management Console,Visual Basic, and the Windows DNS (Domain Name System) are also affected with critical flaws, Microsoft said.

The three less-serious patches fix problems in Windows Explorer, the Windows kernel and the Windows Hyperlink Object Library.

More information on the security updates can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms06-aug.mspx

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