Microsoft (MSFT) instigated its biggest-ever security fix, releasing software to address problems including a flaw in its Windows operating system and Internet browser that could let hackers take control of a personal computer.

The new software, released Tuesday, will address a range of vulnerabilities, including the Stuxnet virus that attacked an Iranian nuclear power plant, Reuters reported.

Four of the new software updates are of the highest priority and should be deployed immediately, Microsoft said.

In total, the company released 16 security patches to address 49 problems in its products. That tops the company's previous record of 34, which was first set in October 2009 and has been matched twice since then.

"This is a huge jump," said Amol Sarwate, a research manager with computer security provider Qualys Inc, told Reuters. "I think the reason for it is that more and more people are out there looking for vulnerabilities."

The Stuxnet virus attacks infrastructure such as power plants that use Siemens industrial control systems. The virus was detected in countries including Iran, the United Kingdom, the United States and Pakistan.

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Which versions are being updated? XP? Vista? Windows 7?

October 14 2010 at 8:26 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Using Internet Explorer has always been dicey due to it's legendary security flaws. Mozilla Firefox is a far more secure and superior browser. As a former IT Dept Manager, I will never understand why anyone would continue to use MS's Internet Explorer.

October 14 2010 at 6:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

The Iranians need to front-end their process control system and keep it off the Internet. Any "mission critical" systems should be stand alone. Fixes and updates can be received by the front-end, examined, then be transferred manually to the control system. Also, utilizing different platforms and architectures often complicates the job of hackers. I'm not in the habit of consulting for the Iranian government, however, the world does not need another Chernobyl, ever again.

October 13 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone else see a problem with a company selling a product that continues to require constant modification to function as promised?

October 13 2010 at 6:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mikersales's comment

Still running 2k pro without any updates and NO AV... Yep still clean, going on 8 years... Running windows Vista with no updates or AV, windows 7 with no Updates or AV.. yep still clean there too... Stay off porn and social sites and you are good to go...

October 13 2010 at 4:13 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to themanindbox's comment

I agree. You must be selective when computing. I simply refuse to open Forwards also.

October 13 2010 at 11:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply