PATCH TUESDAY TIME! Yes it's the time of the month when Microsoft whacks out a patch to plug security holes and squash bugs in good ol' Windows software.
There's not a lot to shout about in December's patch, presumably because Redmond's security bods are off their faces on festive eggnog and are just stitching up the year with a few fixes.
No critical fixes cropped up in the patch for Windows this month, but nine out of the 13 vulnerabilities were fixed in Internet Explorer were critical, not that we reckon anyone from this planet cares about Internet Explorer anymore.
But if for some reason you had a rush of blood to the head and wanted to use IE, then it's worth noting Microsoft fixed a rather nasty scripting engine memory corruption vulnerability in the browser.
"The vulnerability could corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user," said Microsoft's advisory.
"If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, the attacker could take control of an affected system."
The Edge browser also had 13 security holes, 12 of which were critical, that Redmond plugged.
Microsoft also patched a remote code execution vulnerability in Excel for Office 365, which on a bad day could have allowed hackers to gain full control over a system if they'd managed to entice a victim to access a dodgy file or visit a nasty website that prompts a malicious download.
Both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 had two vulnerabilities fixed by Redmond and Windows 10 in its five guises had three flaws apiece that got dusted out.
Overall 34 security issues were scrubbed from Microsoft's software, but none of these had been disclosed to the public or were being actively exploited by hackers.
In fact the patch is so lacklustre that even Adobe merely rolled out a solitary patch for its Flash player, normally renowned to be full of holes that hackers can joyfully exploit.
So if you prefer to manually update Windows there's nothing in December's patch that should have you rushing to do so.
That should give you plenty of time instead to browse our other stories with a little more bite. µ
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