Microsoft said on Thursday that it will offer six updates for 12 vulnerabilities next week including a critical hole in Internet Explorer that affects Windows 7 and other current versions of the operating system for which exploit code has been released.
Late last month, Microsoft said it was investigating an IE vulnerability after someone released proof-of-concept code affecting IE 6 and IE 7 that could be used to take control of computers.
Microsoft described the problem in an advisory issued November 23: "The vulnerability exists as an invalid pointer reference of Internet Explorer. It is possible under certain conditions for a CSS/Style object to be accessed after the object is deleted. In a specially-crafted attack, Internet Explorer attempting to access a freed object can lead to running attacker-supplied code."
Of the six updates Microsoft will release on Patch Tuesday, three of them are critical, according to a Microsoft security bulletin advance notification.
Software affected includes Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Server 2003, Server 2008, Office XP, and Office 2003.