Looks like system administrators are in for a very busy Patch Tuesday next week. In its advance notification for the August batch of patches, Microsoft has revealed plans to issue 14 bulletins addressing a total of 34 vulnerabilities in all versions of Windows, and certain Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, SQL and Silverlight releases. As much as eight of the bulletins are rated "Critical", Microsoft's highest severity classification, which is generally reserved for holes that could be exploited to remotely execute malicious code.
The remaining bulletins are rated Important and apply to Windows and Office. According to a blog post on the Microsoft Security Response Center, this will be the most bulletins the company has ever released in a single month. However, in total CVE (Common Vulnerability and Exposure) count this release ties with last June's Patch Tuesday.
Earlier this week, Microsoft also released an emergency out-of-band patch for a critical Windows vulnerability that was being exploited by a fast-spreading virus and other malware. The so-called "shortcut" vulnerability could be used by attackers to take control of a computer with little or no interaction from users.