Since this story was originally posted, it has been\u00a0modified to correct the number of\u00a0security updates\u00a0Microsoft issued on Tuesday.Microsoft has issued 10 security updates, fixing critical vulnerabilities in its Windows and Office software.Six of the updates are for Windows, including a patch for a nasty bug in the operating system\u2019s graphical user interface, which is being targeted by attackers. Four updates are for Office, and the final update is for the .Net framework, considered to be less severe than the worst of the Windows and Office bugs.The patches were released Tuesday as part of Microsoft\u2019s regular monthly security update cycle. Microsoft\u2019s security bulletins on these patches can be found here. Six of the 10 updates are rated critical, the most serious rating given by Microsoft.The most publicized of these flaws is a bug in an ActiveX control called WebViewFolderIcon, which is used by the Windows\u2019 graphical user interface software. This vulnerability was first disclosed in July, but hackers began exploiting it late last month after exploit code taking advantage of it was added to the Metasploit hacking tool.Microsoft Office has also been the target of a number of extremely limited attacks over the past few months, and on Tuesday Microsoft issued four updates that addressed critical flaws in PowerPoint, Excel and Word, and the Office suite itself. All of these flaws could be exploited by an attacker to run unauthorized software on a victim\u2019s computer, Microsoft said.The sixth critical update fixes two vulnerabilities in the XML parser used by Windows.Tuesday also marked the end of the line for Windows XP Service Pack 1, which will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Microsoft\u2019s advisory on this issue can be found here.Hackers have been keeping Microsoft\u2019s Security Response Center busy this past month. On Sept. 26, the company was forced to issue a rare, "out-of-cycle" security patch after criminals began exploiting a flaw in Internet Explorer\u2019s vector markup language rendering engine.-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Related Links:\n\nMicrosoft to Fix Windows, Office\u00a0Security Flaws\n\nGangs Exploit Another Unpatched Windows Bug\n\nCritical IE Bug Gets Early Fix from MicrosoftThis article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page.\u00a0For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.