Microsoft patch tally: 6 years, 745 vulnerabilities

400 security bulletins since October 2003

With its massive security update last month, Microsoft Corp. marked the end of the sixth year since it moved to a monthly patch schedule. An informal count of releases in Microsoft's bulletin archives shows that the company has released about 400 security bulletins since October 2003.

The bulletins have addressed about 745 vulnerabilities across almost every Microsoft product. More than half of the bulletins (230) have addressed vulnerabilities that Microsoft called "critical," meaning they would allow attackers to take full administrative control of a system from a remote location.

The total number of flaws disclosed and patched by the software maker so far this year stands at about 160; Microsoft reported 155 for all of 2008. The tally for the past two years is more than double the number of flaws disclosed in 2004 and 2005, the first two full years of Patch Tuesdays.

The last time Microsoft didn't have any patches on a Patch Tuesday was March 2007. In the past six years, Microsoft has had just four patch-free months -- two of which were in 2005. In contrast, the company issued patches for 10 or more vulnerabilities on more than 20 occasions and patches for 20 or more flaws in a single month on about 10 occasions.

This version of this story originally appeared in Computerworld 's print edition. It's an edited version of an article that first ran on

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftsecurity

More about Microsoft

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Jaikumar Vijayan

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts