Last month, we saw Microsoft issuing a really unusual patch for their Windows XP operating system. The purpose of their release was to prevent spreading the huge WannaCry malware. This malware has affected at least 75,000 computers in 99 countries, which is a huge number. The method used is not a new one: it encrypts a computer and then it asks for a $300 ransom before you can unlock it.
A Surprising Move
This update comes as a surprise, since the tech giant has stopped supporting Windows XP since April 2014. The measures they are taking in order to include this OS in the Patch Tuesday security updates are unprecedented.
Adrienne Hall, who is the general manager of crisis management at Microsoft, declared that when they reviewed the updates for this month, the team identified some vulnerabilities which translate to a high risk of cyber-attacks initiated by government organizations or some other copycat organizations. In order to protect the system from this vulnerabilities, they have issued some extra updates together with the Update Tuesday program. What’s even better is the fact that the security updates are going to be available for everybody, even people who use older versions of Windows.
They Address Various Operating Systems
According to Microsoft, they are releasing updates for Windows Vista, Windows XP and all the other versions, regardless if they are supported or not. This confirms that the risk is indeed great for attacks similar to the WannaCry malware. The patches are going to be available in the Windows Update or Download Center in Microsoft.
Once again, the company underlined that this is not a departure from their standard policies, but merely an exception due to the gravity of the vulnerabilities that were discovered there. The patches should be automatically installed to your system.