Microsoft Forced to Release More Patches for Windows XP (Yep)

Microsoft Forced to Release More Patches for Windows XP (Yep)

Microsoft Forced to Release More Patches for Windows XP (Yep)

Microsoft has issued patches for all of its older unsupported versions of Windows - including Windows XP and Vista - to protect these outdated operating systems from three NSA exploits (nastiness along the lines of the NSA-leveraged vulnerability which the WannaCry malware was built around).

Microsoft has send out a critical security patch for computers still running on the unsupported Windows XP operating system, to combat the growing threat of cyber attacks.

On Tuesday, Adrienne Hall, general manager of the cyber defence operations centre at Microsoft, said in a blog-post that the updates have been released to the elevated risk of "nation-state actors" organisations.

In an unprecedented move, Microsoft has rolled out an important security update for older versions of Windows it had previously said it would no longer support.

The firm said in a blog post that Tuesday's updates include fixes for three other exploits that, like Eternalblue used by WannaCry, were released by the Shadow Brokers hacking group. Windows XP isn't the only legacy operating system getting this new round of vital updates, as Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003 are getting them as well. Users of Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 that have Windows Update turned on, such as consumers, don't need to take further actions to be protected, according to the announcement. He went on to urge users to adopt new Microsoft products, which are significantly more resistant to exploits, and not to expect regular security fixes in the future. This is one area where big data and extensive analytics can be genuinely useful, and using a cloud-based antivirus system allows Microsoft to update its heuristics and detection algorithms in real time.

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For the second time in a month, Windows XP has once again been patched by Microsoft.

And Microsoft also took the opportunity to address "vulnerabilities that are at heightened risk of exploitation due to past nation-state activity and disclosures".

To give an idea of the seriousness of this month's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has chose to include patches for a number of legacy operating systems it no longer supports.

The new updates can be found in the Microsoft Download Center or, alternatively, in the Update Catalog. The Wanna Cry virus was only able to affect those systems that had Windows XP installed. It stressed that older platforms lack the security features of their modern counterparts, even if they're kept up-to-date.

Some have argued this week that these types of patches for unsupported OS's will prompt users to not upgrade from Windows 7 when its extended support period ends in January 2020. "On one hand, it offers protections to those who may be unable to migrate off XP for whatever reason".

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