Microsoft Internet Explorer fix

Microsoft has said users of its Windows XP operating system will also get the security update it has issued to fix a flaw in the Internet Explorer browser.

It issued the update on Thursday to fix a bug that let hackers gain access and user rights to computers.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP earlier this month, ceasing to issue bug fixes or security updates for it.

But the firm said it decided to make an exception as the flaw was discovered just days after the support ended.

Even though Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and is past the time we normally provide security updates, we’ve decided to provide an update for all versions of Windows XP,

Adrienne Hall, general manager of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft, said in a blog post.

“We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.”

The flaw was reported earlier this week and there had been uncertainty over whether XP users would get the update when it was released.

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Windows XP operating system’s Support ends Today

Support for the venerable Windows XP operating system ends this Tuesday. It means that there will be no more official security updates and bug fixes for the operating system from Microsoft.

Some governments have negotiated extended support contracts for the OS in a bid to keep users protected. Security firms said anyone else using the 13-year-old software would be at increased risk of infection and compromise by cyber-thieves.

Statistics suggest 20-25% of all users have stuck with XP despite the fact that there have been three major releases of Windows since its debut in 2001.

win-xp

Some of those existing XP users have struck deals to get security fixes from Microsoft while they complete their migration away from the ageing code.

Anyone currently running Windows XP already faced a disproportionate risk of falling victim to malware, said Dave Emm, a senior research analyst at security firm Kaspersky.

Windows XP users topped the list of victims cyber-thieves targeted, said Maik Morgenstern and Andreas Marx from the German AV-Test group, which rates and ranks security software.

“Malware writers go for the low hanging fruits because it’s a lot easier to infect systems running on an old Windows XP operating system compared to brand-new Windows 8.1, with all its built-in security features,” they said.

“We think we will see a lot of attacks for Windows XP within the next few months, but attackers will also always add exploits for other Windows systems just to catch those systems as well.”

 

Source: BBC NEWS