June 10, 2009

Critical Security Flaws In Microsoft, Adobe Products

A record 31 security defects in Microsoft Corp's programs have warranted the company's release of new software to remedy the problem, Reuters reported. 

Adobe Systems Inc also advised of similar anomalies in its products that could give cyber criminals access to a user's PC. 

To repair these malfunctions in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer, Microsoft issued patches and key pieces of software that businesses use in their data centers.

In a security announcement on the Adobe website, Reader and Acrobat users were encouraged to update their software to the latest versions.  If the software is not compatible with a customer's PC, alternative software is available. 

Malicious software that exploits weaknesses in Adobe has not yet been detected, although the potential risk has been classified as "critical," the highest possible risk according to its scale measuring the danger of such perils. 

Windows PCs and Apple Inc's Macintosh are both susceptible to these risks, the maker of design and document imaging software said. 

After cyber criminals learn of security weaknesses, it is not long before they implement malicious software to be used for identity theft, sending spam and gaining control of computer systems. 

Businesses face challenges with the time needed to accomplish proper installation of the patch with their computer systems, versus the time this grants to cyber criminals to detect weaknesses.  Patches can trigger system crashes in some cases, so it is necessary that ample time be provided to ensure new software doesn't jeopardize computer systems. 

When asked his view of the Microsoft patches, Dave Marcus, a senior researcher with the world's No. 2 security software maker, McAfee Inc, said "Patching will be especially challenging for enterprises."

It will be less of a hassle for consumers to attend to the threats, as patches are made available for download on the Internet.  It is not common for these types of patches to cause individual PCs to crash. 


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