Monday, 23 October, 2017

Windows XP patched to avert new outbreaks from three more NSA exploits

Microsoft includes Windows XP and Vista in June's Patch Tuesday updates Microsoft issues Windows XP critical patches amid 'elevated risk' of cyberattacks
Mike Hodges | 29 June, 2017, 02:17

Microsoft has already ended support for Windows XP, but the fact it has included one of its oldest operating systems in the latest round of security updates makes it a big deal for its users.

Among the flaws for which Microsoft released patches for older platforms is the MS17-010 vulnerability that has been used by attackers spreading the WannaCry ransomware.

"Microsoft released updates for this new vulnerability on all now supported Windows OSs, but also released variations for XP and 2003", he added.

The patches are being released for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and other unsupported versions.

Microsoft distributed the updates in addition to this month's "Patch Tuesday", the security updates Microsoft rolls out each month. Normal releases are delivered automatically through the Windows Update mechanism to devices running supported Windows versions, including 10, 8.1, 7, and post-2008 Windows Server releases. While that is certainly a possibility, I have always believed there will be those on Windows 7 that will not upgrade to Windows 10 no matter what, are you willing to put everything on the line to risk your personal information and possibly business/customer data on an outdated system?

Topping the priority list should be zero-day vulnerabilities CVE-2017-8543 and CVE-2017-8464, both of which Microsoft said are being exploited in the wild.

EsteemAudit affects RDP, but only on XP and did not require a patch for modern versions of Windows. The Redmond giant had also issued fixes for the two operating systems, since a large number of Government organizations (and banks) have been dependent on Windows XP for ATMs and other operations for a very long period of time. That said, those still running XP should really start upgrading to a more secure OS version.

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

Older versions of the Microsoft operating systems have come under attack recently, and Microsoft wants to ensure its not at the root of a major global breakdown.

Now, in an even more unusual move, Microsoft has chosen to include Windows XP in this month's Patch Tuesday.

"Our decision today to release these security updates for platforms not in extended support should not be viewed as a departure from our standard servicing policies", he wrote.

Questions about Windows XP's status - dead or undead? - surfaced in May when Microsoft distributed patches to the no-more-support XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003.

"For Microsoft to review and release several updates for "end of lifed" platforms you can be sure there was good cause", he added.

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