Microsoft lays out monthly patch plans

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Microsoft is planning to issue at least nine security fixes this month.

The company said that the August 11 patch release will address issues in Windows, Office, and Visual Studio, as well as updates to the Client for Mac software.

Of the nine planned fixes, five have been rated as 'critical.' This designation is reserved for flaws which could allow an attacker to remotely compromise a system and spread malware without user notification or interaction.

Only three of the five critical flaws affect Windows Vista, Windows XP and Server 2008 users. Windows 2000 and Server 2003 are vulnerable to four of the flaws. The fifth critical vulnerability affects Office XP, 2003 and the Client for Mac component.

Another remote code execution vulnerability has been given the less serious rating of 'important.' The flaw affects Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003. Another vulnerability also exists in Windows Vista and Server 2008, but has been given a 'moderate' risk rating due to built-in security protections.

Also included in the August update will be fixes for flaws in Windows and the .NET Framework, two of which can be exploited to obtain elevated privileges and a third which can be used to perform a denial-of-service attack.

The update can be obtaining automatically through the Windows Update and Microsoft Update components, as well as the company's support download site.

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