It figures to be a busy patch day for Windows system administrators next Tuesday.
As part of its monthly security update release cycle, Microsoft Corp. plans to ship nine bulletins with fixes for holes in the Windows operating system.
An advance notice from Redmonds security response center said eight of the bulletins will address bugs in products tied to the operating system, while one will cover holes in Microsoft Exchange.
Some of the Windows flaws will be deemed "critical," the companys highest severity rating, while the Exchange flaw carries an "important" rating.
At least one of the bulletins will contain a cumulative patch to cover code execution holes in the Internet Explorer browser, according to a source familiar with Microsofts patching plans.
Microsoft, as is customary, is withholding details on the vulnerabilities that will be addressed on Oct. 11, but Ziff Davis Internet News has learned that at least one flaw flagged by private research outfit eEye Digital Security will be patched.
eEye Digital maintains a Web page with upcoming advisories. The page currently lists 10 unpatched holes in Microsoft products.
The flaws discovered by eEye are described as "high-severity" remote code execution issues in multiple versions of IE and the Microsoft Outlook e-mail program.
Four of the 10 flaws reported by eEye Digital are more than 75 days overdue.
Microsoft has also been tardy in addressing a well-known code execution vulnerability in the Microsoft Jet Database Engine, the lightweight database widely used by applications such as Microsoft Office 2000, Office 2003, Access 2000 and Access 2003.
Microsoft has been aware of the Jet DB engine flaw for more than five months, but only publicly acknowledged the risk late last month when virus writers launched successful exploits.
According to Symantec Corp.s security response unit, the unpatched Jet database engine bug has been exploited to drop a malicious Trojan horse identified as "Backdoor.Hesive." At immediate risk are users of Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
According to Microsoft, some of the updates coming next Tuesday will require a restart. The patches will be detectable using the MBSA (Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer) and the companys EST (Enterprise Scanning Tool).
The company also plans to release an updated version of its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.