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Microsoft Discloses Huge Number Of Windows Vulnerabilties

Microsoft took it on the security chin as it released April's round of security vulnerabilities. The total number of vulnerabilities in the four security bulletins tallied an astounding 20 separate flaws in Windows and Outlook Express.

"This is simply an unprecedented number of vulnerabilities," said Vincent Gullotto, the vice president of Network Associates' AVERT research team.

April's mega collection includes 20 new vulnerabilities, 8 of which are rated as "Critical," the most dire assessment in the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's four-level ranking system. Sixteen of the 20 vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely, the most dangerous type of bug because hackers can conduct an attack over the Internet.

Microsoft even took the unusual step of ganging together multiple vulnerabilities under two of the four security bulletins.

In its description of Security Bulletin MS04-011, which Microsoft called "Critical," the company stated, "This update contains support for several vulnerabilities because the modifications that are required to address these issues are located in related files. Instead of having to install several updates that contain almost identical files, customers can install only this update," said Microsoft in the bulletin."

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