The updates for XP and other versions of Windows, released as part of yesterday's Patch Tuesday, have fixed vulnerabilities that could be used in what Microsoft calls "attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCrypt".
The decision to release the update comes in the wake of the devastating WannaCry ransomware attack last month. "These security updates are being made available to all customers, including those using older versions of Windows", Hall added. But in light of a recent hacking attack that quickly hijacked hundreds of thousands of PCs, the company made a decision to release patches for those older, unsupported versions as well.
Of the 94 vulnerabilities Microsoft identified for June Patch Tuesday, 27 are remote code execution (RCE) exploits that could allow an attacker to take control of a machine.
Experts said that beyond the Windows XP fixes, the June Patch Tuesday was one of the larger releases by Microsoft recently with 94 vulnerabilities patched, up from 66 in May, and 44 in April. If you have versions without extended support, including Windows XP, Vista, 8 or Server 2003, you will need to download and install the patches manually. The security updates will be delivered automatically through Windows Update to devices running Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.
For the second time in a month, Windows XP has once again been patched by Microsoft.
Microsoft clarified this doesn't mean a return to full support for Windows XP, which ended in 2014.
Microsoft published a list of 15 vulnerabilities it believes are at "imminent risk" of being exploited, some of which date back to 2008 and 2009.
But, recently Microsoft gave up on the updates for Windows XP. So long as Microsoft continues to protect Windows XP from the more serious threats in the wild, IT admins and businesses looking to save a few bucks can justify putting off an upgrade. A new report from security ratings service BitSight Technologies that examined over 35,000 organizations worldwide across 20 industries found that 24 percent of all systems are using an out-of-date internet browser.
But by issuing patches to Windows XP three years after expiration, some anxious that Microsoft had set a precedent it might regret. It stressed that older platforms lack the security features of their modern counterparts, even if they're kept up-to-date. In May, the WannaCry ransomware affected computer users around the globe by targeting the Windows XP OS.
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