Microsoft has broken its previous patch record, set in August, with a mammoth update fixing 49 flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer and a range of other software.
Six of the 49 patches are rated critical and Microsoft recommends that the Internet Explorer patch MS10-071, which fixes seven flaws (three of which are public), and the Windows patch MS10-076 be installed as a priority.
"It's worth noting that only six of the 49 total vulnerabilities being addressed have a critical rating," said Microsoft's Security Research Centre in a blog post. "Further, three of the bulletins account for 34 of the total vulnerabilities."
Internet Explorer received 10 fixes, two of them critical, and all Windows operating systems got an update. A patch was also included to block the Stuxnet worm, which has been causing much concern among security experts.
Microsoft has released a severity and exploitability index for IT administrators to assess and gauge the urgency of patching.
It seems likely, given the extent of patching at Microsoft, that the company will hit triple digit patch numbers before the end of the year. Microsoft has released 86 so far, and still has two months to go.
While Microsoft has been reacting a lot faster to security issues over the past few years, the increase in patches is also a likely indicator of the increase in security researchers working on the area.
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