| By Susan Bradley |
If this seems like an especially heavy patch week, you’re not mistaken — this might be the largest batch of Windows patches released at one time.
The most-critical patches address flaws in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and two Adobe products.
IE gets numerous fixes in one big patch
This cumulative fix, rated critical, includes both security and nonsecurity fixes to Internet Explorer versions 6 and up. So it applies to almost all Windows users — whether you’re using IE as your default browser or not.
Included in the update is a fix (briefly described in Support article 2175840) for IE 7 and 8 to prevent these two browsers from suddenly and intermittently locking up while browsing Web pages.
This patch also corrects six security issues, most of them vulnerabilities allowing an attacker to take remote control of your system. They are described in detail in the Vulnerability Information section of Security Bulletin MS10-53.
► What to do: Install this update as soon as it’s offered, or go to Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-053 to find the correct download file for your combination of OS and IE.
Adobe Flash and AIR need immediate updating
Adopting Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday updates process, Adobe released critical patches for its Flash Player (which some PC users consider the most attack-vulnerable application you can use). These updates fix six security flaws that could allow Flash Player to crash, letting hackers gain control of your computer.