Microsoft will be putting out eight security patches on 8 April, five of them with the unlovable critical label, in the latest run of its regular update cycle.
The critical updates cover a brace of bugs in Internet Explorer, a pair on Windows and one involving Office. All five might lend themselves to remote execution of malicious software on vulnerable clients.
All supported versions of Windows - including Vista - ought to be updated once the patches come out. Vista is subject to as many critical patches as XP (four), which doesn't say a lot for its much-vaunted enhanced security, especially since they arrive less than a month after the release of the first service pack for Vista.
In addition to the critical patches MS has scheduled three "important" updates for next Tuesday. Two of these separately tackle spoofing and code elevation risks in Windows, while the other deals with security bugs in Office.
A full summary is contained in Microsoft's advance bulletin notice here.
There's plenty more patching work to be done before next week. Opera has pushed out a new version of its browser (version 9.27) on Thursday that fixes two remotely exploitable vulnerabilities, detailed here and here. The updates cover separate flaws involving the processing of HTML CANVAS elements and Opera's handling of news feeds, as explained in an overview by security notification firm Secunia here.
Also of note is an update to Apple's popular QuickTime media player software, published on Thursday. Version 7.4.5 of QuickTime plugs 11 security vulnerabilities covering a spread of risks including code injection. Many bugs involve risks in viewing maliciously malformed movie files. Both Windows and Mac QuickTime users are equally at risk from the cross-platform flaws - the full info is an Apple advisory here. ®