December 03, 2009, 6:43 PM — Up on the Internet servers pause and then out jumps relatively good old Microsoft and down through your Internet chimney they'll be delivering lots of Windows and Office patches to good little Windows users-those who have legal copies of Windows.
Yes, it's almost time for Microsoft's holiday edition of Patch Tuesday, December 8th. This is one set of gifts you shouldn't wait to open and install. Microsoft announced that the patch presents would contain "six new security bulletins addressing 12 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office products." And, the important news is that three of them have the maximum severity rating of Critical.
For my money, the most important of these is Microsoft Security Advisory 977981. This is the latest IE (Internet Explorer) bug, which could, in theory, be used to take over your Windows PCs.
Earlier, I described a way to defend against this IE security hole. But, let's get real; fixing the problem once and for all is a far better solution.
Microsoft isn't explaining in detail what else they're fixing in IE, but we do know that they're fixing other IE bugs. So, don't feel too safe and snug about running IE 8. You too will want to open this patch as fast as possible.
As for the rest of your December patch presents, Microsoft will be fixing both a Windows and Office problem that could be used to take your PC over with a remote code execution attack. You will need to re-boot your system after applying these patches.
So, if you've been good little Windows users, be sure to download and install these patches. If you haven't been, well don't be surprised if you get a lump of malware coal in your computers instead.