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Microsoft, Adobe prep critical security patches

Microsoft to issue one bulletin on Patch Tuesday, while Adobe will fix a targeted Reader and Acrobat vulnerability and launch a beta of new automatic-update service.

Microsoft will issue one bulletin on Patch Tuesday next week that is rated "critical" for Windows 2000.

The patch is designed to address a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to take control of a computer by remotely executing code on it, according to an advisory released Thursday. It is rated "low" severity for Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003, and Server 2008 operating systems.

Meanwhile, Adobe Systems is scheduled to release a patch for a vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat on Tuesday that was discovered in mid-December and which is being exploited by attacks in the wild to deliver Trojan horse programs that install backdoor access on computers.

Adobe will also be releasing a beta test version of a new automatic updater for Reader and Acrobat on Tuesday, according to ZDNet, sister publication of CNET. The move is welcome, given that Reader was found to be one of the buggiest programs in 2009.