Microsoft has announced four updates, one of them rated critical, will be released on July 12, this month's Patch Tuesday.
The four new updates will remedy 22 computer security vulnerabilities affecting Windows operating systems and the widely used Microsoft Office software.
Microsoft defines a critical vulnerability as one that could be exploited by a hacker to compromise a computer without any user action. This round of updates will patch a critical vulnerability in the most recent Microsoft operating systems, Vista and Windows 7. According to PCWorld, older operating systems are usually more beset by severe vulnerabilities, which means an issue affecting only the newer platforms is unusual.
Patch Tuesday is scheduled to commence at 10:00 a.m. PDT on the 12th, and Microsoft's official security blog will be updated at that time with risk and impact analysis.
Last month's Patch Tuesday featured 16 updates, nine of them critical. Many computer security experts surmised Microsoft was responding to an atmosphere of heightened anxiety caused by a series of high-profile hacks of government and corporate websites.