Your computer should restart tonight after installing this month’s critical updates for Windows and Office. It’s a particularly large batch of updates and some of them are for the kind of vulnerabilities that the bad guys will quickly be attempting to exploit.

Adobe is following through on its plan to release quarterly updates on the same day as Microsoft’s monthly patches. Adobe will release important updates today for all current versions of Acrobat and Adobe Reader. If you see the Adobe icon on the taskbar asking for permission to install an update, you should install the patch. It fixes one of those terrifying problems that make you wonder how we can use this technology stuff – in this case, malware can be embedded in a PDF file; when the file is opened, a Chinese ninja is immediately given control of your computer. Not one of the cool ninjas, one of the scary ones.

Remember, if you want this to be my problem instead of yours, take advantage of the PC Tuneup special!

[Update 10/13 10pm]: You may not see the Acrobat update right away – your copy of Acrobat only checks for updates automatically once a week. Today’s release includes a new updater that checks far more frequently. To get today’s updates, you can wait to be prompted, or open your copy of Acrobat or Reader and click on Help / Check for updates, or visit the web site to install the updates manually. Don’t forget to uncheck the boxes to install other software – Google Toolbar, McAfee trial software, or whatever else tries to ride along!

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