Several software companies are releasing a whole range of patches and quick fixes for all the little bugs that are appearing on their laptops and PCs. Although Microsoft has reached a record one patch for the most recent cycle, this patch proves to be a pretty important one considering that it will fix a bug allows online hackers to steal information and possibly take over your computer once you view a compromised website.
This patch basically attempts to resolve the errors in Internet Explorer 5 for Windows 2000; Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP; and Internet Explorer 7 for Windows Vista and XP. It seems like this may also affect Internet Explorer 8 as well, although it has not been necessary for the more robust version that came out with Windows 7. All of these patches are readily available online and can be gotten by simply running the Windows Update on your PC.
There are also two patches that are being released to fix a bug that could possibly assist in eliciting a PC attack through MS Office’s MS Excel and MS Word compromised files. One of the most vulnerable versions of Office to this kind of hit is Office 2000 because once the attacker is able to get into the system, he can implement any command at his bidding. Other versions that may be susceptible are the Office XP version as well as Office 2003 and Office 2007, as well as the 2004 and 2008 versions created for the Mac.
Microsoft Works is also undergoing some problems which Microsoft also needs to resolve, specifically for MS Works converters and file for the Office versions in 2000, XP, 2003 and 2007. This is also required for the Microsoft versions of 9 and 8.5.
The windows Printer Spool is also another area infected with bugs and giving those using Windows 2000 a way into a system that is not firewall protected. If an attack were to be successful on a Windows 2000 version, it would only pose moderate threats to other Windows versions. Although Microsoft has released some patches, these fixes are only there to fix lesser problems compared to these mentioned that need immediate attention.
As for Adobe, the problem is in the Shockwave Player version 126.96.36.1996 or any earlier version of it. Some websites have manipulated Adobe Director files that would allow an attacker to take over your PC and have full control over it. The best remedy to this, as suggested by Adobe, is to install the latest version of Shockwave Player and completely uninstall the older version, at least just to get you out of harm’s way.
Some effective updates have been released for the Reader and Acrobat (versions 9.1.2 or 7.1.3 or 8.1.6). This update prevents any loopholes for a PC takeover even if you have a compromised PDF file. The best way to get the updated it to go to Help, click on Check for Updates and check if you have the latest version of Reader and Acrobat. This updated is now available for Unix, Macintosh, and Windows systems.
For those using the Foxit Reader PDF application, you may need to get a patch by going to Help and clicking on About Foxit Reader and making sure that you at least have Foxit Reader 3.0 build 1817 on your computer. Without the latest version, there will be a threat to your JPEG2000/JBIG2 Decoder add-ons and the Foxit Reader 3.0 base program. You can easily download the latest version of Foxit Reader online. To find out about your add-ons, go to the help option and the Check for Updates. This will at least get the the add-on updates, but will not update your Foxit Reader version, so do that separately.