Microsoft plans emergency Windows 7 patch

Shortcut vulnerability update due on Monday
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Shortcut vulnerability update due on Monday

Microsoft said that it plans to release an "out of band" patch following an "increase in attempts" to exploit the shortcut vulnerability.

Christopher Budd, Microsoft senior security response communication manager, wrote on the Technet blog that the company had completed testing of the security patch. "Additionally, we're able to confirm that, in the past few days, we've seen an increase in attempts to exploit the vulnerability. We firmly believe that releasing the update out of band is the best thing to do to help protect our customers," said Budd.

The shortcut vulnerability affects Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and allows malicious code to be executed by merely viewing a directory with an infected shortcut (LNK) file. So serious has the issue been considered that several security vendors had released patches to tide over concerned users until the scheduled Microsoft update.

Microsoft's update is scheduled for today some time.