On May 8th, Microsoft released a quick patch which fixed an emergency issue which could have allowed hackers to disable the antivirus software by using only a malicious tweet. The company surprised everybody with their readiness, which also suggests how severe the flaw was.
Microsoft sent their users their regular monthly software updates but, less than 24 hours after, they also sent this emergency patch. After discovering this serious flaw, the software engineers at Microsoft could not let their system unprotected, so they fixed the bug immediately and then sent the updates. The fact that they were so quick to fix it suggests the severity of the bug.
Only the Microsoft antivirus software was vulnerable to the attack
The attack was targeted at Microsoft’s own antivirus software. For the newer Windows versions, it is called Microsoft Defender, while owners of older versions should know it as Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft comes with good news for those who use Windows 7 or newer, as the software should update by itself.
However, Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP and Windows Vista is vulnerable. Therefore, everybody who uses this software to protect their computer is advised to switch to a different antivirus, as Microsoft no longer provides updates for these operating systems.
Fortunately, Microsoft were quick and solved the flaw immediately. All users received security patches who no longer put their computers at risk. Also, those who use other antivirus providers were safe from the attack, as the vulnerability targeted only Microsoft products.
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