Microsoft, Adobe address critical security flaws

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your computer ... Microsoft and Adobe inform their users they have all sorts of security flaws and even Mac users are affected.

First, Adobe: Not only do the "critical vulnerabilities" in Adobe Reader 9.1.1 and Acrobat 9.1.1 "and earlier versions" cause the applications to crash, but they also can make your computer vulnerable to an "attacker." So this is the deal:

Adobe recommends users of Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 and earlier versions update to Adobe Reader 9.1.2 and Acrobat 9.1.2. Adobe recommends users of Acrobat 8 update to Acrobat 8.1.6, and users of Acrobat 7 update to Acrobat 7.1.3. For Adobe Reader users who can’t update to Adobe Reader 9.1.2, Adobe has provided the Adobe Reader 8.1.6 and Adobe Reader 7.1.3 updates.

Got that? This is on both Windows and Macintosh systems. The appropriate updates can be found here, scroll down to the "solutions" sub-header. Security updates for UNIX systems won't be available until June 16, but at that time will be added to the same link.

The updates resolve more than 8 vulnerabilities discovered by a bunch of different folks, including the Apple Product Security Team and the IBM Internet Security X-Force. No word if Wolverine is a member of either team. He tends to prefer to work alone.

Microsoft's updates fix what has been reported by Reuters as "a record 31 security flaws."

Security issues were patched in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office, as well as in Microsoft Internet Information Services, which some businesses use. Six of the flaws were listed as critical and could allow for remote code executions - in other words, could allow someone to take control of your computer. Some can directly allow that, others elevate the hacker's permission levels, allowing them to create accounts and shut out users and, basically, take over your system or computer.

All the updates for home computers are detailed on this page, which includes a link to the patch downloads. Microsoft thanked a bunch of people for reporting the flaws, including the Zero Day Initiative and the Beaverton School District. Go Beavers!