If you're an IT administrator responsible for hundreds of machines, I didn't envy your job this week. Then again, I don't really envy it any week - probably because I could never do it - but the past few days have been particularly brutal.

That is because we've seen enough patch roll-outs to make your head spin. The names read like a laundry list of popular consumer and business software: Adobe Reader, Apple QuickTime, Sun Java, Skype, WordPress, Firefox.

And, on Tuesday, the big daddy comes when Microsoft delivers 12 fixes, seven critical, the most we've seen since February 2007.

 Woof. I guess it is safe to say the holiday lull is over.

This, of course, provides clear evidence that the bad guys find it really, really beneficial to exploit client-side, widely-deployed software that most users think to always trust.

Good luck.