Microsoft cuts Patch Tuesday release from eight to four fixes

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Microsoft has downgraded Tuesday's monthly security update to just four fixes after initially planning to release twice that.

Since issuing its advance notification advisory last week, the software giant has axed three scheduled patches - with a maximum severity rating of "important" - for holes in Windows, Office and Visual Studio and one "critical" fix for a Windows flaw.

But the company still plans to issue four "critical" fixes - three for Office and one for Windows.

The Office patches presumably repair three vulnerabilities affecting Word. In two of the cases, Microsoft officials have said they are investigating reports of "limited and targeted attacks" exploiting the flaws.

Company researchers have said they are also following proof-of-concept code exploiting a hole in Windows' Client Server Run-Time Subsystem, which could allow for escalated privileges.

A company spokesman said Microsoft reserves the right to alter its planned patch releases.

"The number of bulletins, products affected, restart information and severities are subject to change until released," he said.

"There are many factors that impact the release of a security update, and every vulnerability presents its own unique challenges."

 Click here to email reporter Dan Kaplan.

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