Patch Tuesday April 2012

Patch Tuesday April 2012 everyone’s favorite day!

Well, maybe not. In fact, with some in the computer field, it’s right up there with April 15th – tax day. This months updates includes some from Microsoft and Adobe. Also, we’ve had some very concerning news in the last week for Mac users. So, what’s up this month?

Window Update
This is what Window Update looks like in the start menu

The good, the bad, the ugly of this month’s Microsoft Windows updates.

The good new is that there are not too many updates. I’ve been seeing six for Windows XP and just five on a Windows 7 machine. The bad news is Microsoft Office added six more on one computer. The ugly part is there are some .NET updates in there and they take forever to install. A restart is also going to be required.

How to Update Windows

Microsoft notes that it has seem some limited attacks using one of the vulnerabities that this patch fixes. The others have yet to be used. While all Windows updates are important and needed eventually, you can probably surf tonight and let it update when you go to bed.

Adobe releases updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat.

Adobe Reader X
Adobe Reader X

Nearly all computers have some PDF file reader. For Windows computers and Mac’s, that is probably Adobe Reader. First, you need to be using Adobe Reader X. Then you need to make sure you have the latest update of Reader X. ¬†You can update Reader X by choosing “update” in the help menu. You can check the “about’ section in the help reader to make sure you’re running Reader X.

If you’re not running Reader X, you should go to the Adobe website and download and install from there.

Video: How to Install Adobe Reader X

Adobe Acrobat also need to be updated. Acrobat 9 and Acrobat 10 can be updated. If you are using an earlier version of Acrobat, I will you will need to pay to upgrade to a newer version. The older versions are unsafe to use in viewing PDF files.

Bad news for Mac users.

Recently, a large botnet made of Mac computers was discovered. Researchers initially had doubts about the claim but after checks it was confirmed. The botnet consists of over half a million Mac computers that have been overtaken by malware and are no longer under their owners control and the owners are most likely not aware. This move Mac malware and botnets into the same scope as Windows computers.

Apple did release an update recently. Did you patch your Mac yet?

Just one added note:

Tax day is coming up. Usually there are plenty of phishing attempts to get people to release information when they think they are responding to the IRS. The IRS will not contact you by email. They know where you live, you will get a letter. Beware of phone numbers in emails too. Scammers have actually started to use phone numbers to steal information as well.

Remember, keeping your computer and software up to date is the first step to keeping malware off it and keeping your computer safe.