June 14, 2005

Microsoft Announces 3 ‘Critical’ Software Patches

SEATTLE (Reuters) -- Microsoft Corp., the world's largest software maker, warned users of three new security flaws affecting Windows and Internet Explorer and urged them to download patches to fix the software.

Microsoft issued the patches, along with seven other "important" and "moderate" rated security flaws, as part of its monthly security bulletin.

All of the top three security flaws could allow an attacker to take control over a personal computer and use it to steal data or launch other attacks, Microsoft said.

A hacker could exploit one of the security flaws if a user directed the Web browser to a specially designed Web page, said Stephen Toulouse, a manager at Microsoft's Security Response Center.

"For all consumers we recommend that they have Automatic Updates enabled," Toulouse said, referring to a feature in Windows that downloads the software patches automatically.

Users can also download the patches to fix the software flaws at www.microsoft.com/security.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, has been working for the last three years to improve the security and reliability of its software under its Trustworthy Computing initiative, as more and more malicious software targets weaknesses in Windows and other Microsoft software.

Last month, Microsoft announced plans to offer its own anti-virus and security updates for personal computers, called "Windows OneCare" that will be offered on a trial basis later this year.