Microsoft to issue 13 security advisories

Microsoft is readying its customers for the release of 13 new security advisories, including fixes for Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger that are rated as critical.

Nine of the Microsoft security bulletins, to be released on February 8, affect its Windows operating system and programs packaged with it, including Office and Visual Studio.

One of the patches concerns a bug in Windows 2000 that has been known about since mid-2004. Currently default versions of the software can be compromised without any user interaction.

The bulletins range between "moderate" and "critical" ratings and will be available as part of Microsoft's monthly patching program.Microsoft has been pushing itself hard on the security front recently. Bill Gates declared at a conference this month that security is the number one priority in all new Microsoft software.

Microsoft has also announced its Security Cooperation Program (SCP) a move designed to be a way for Governments to coordinate information sharing. So far only the Canada, Chile, Norway and the US have signed up to the scheme that will encourage the countries to share data on security vulnerabilities and fixes.

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