On Tuesday, the day when Microsoft usually releases its monthly patch flow, users were amazed by an unusually high number of updates. Although support for both Windows XP and Windows Vista has ended, Microsoft provided them several individual patches. Last month, they made the same move, and made many users question its purpose.
Microsoft added security updates for Windows XP and Vista
Microsoft wanted to reveal the mystery, and explained that their priority was to have their users protected, especially if they were using older and more vulnerable operating systems. Therefore, XP and Vista users are strongly advised to apply these updates immediately, and make sure their systems are safe.
However, there is one more reason why Microsoft is so careful. At the time of the Shadow Brokers attacks, the company released some security updates which fixed most of the vulnerabilities targeted by them. Yet, they only took into account the protected systems, meaning Windows 7 or newer.
These systems have been left unprotected for several months
Afterwards, the company declared that all supported platforms were safe from the three exploits which circulated during these attacks: ExplodingCan, EnglishmanDentist, and EsteemAudit. Older security holes had been resolved starting with Windows 7, but this still left older systems at risk. Therefore, this was the reason for this avalanche of updates for XP and Vista.
In other words, if your PC runs XP or Vista, you have been vulnerable to attacks all this time, and Microsoft was well aware of it. However, it only decided to solve the problem now. So, this month’s updates come with extra protection for older versions of Windows.
You can either receive them through Windows Update, or go and download them manually from Microsoft. To find the desired updates, go to Security Adviser 4025685, and choose Older Platforms Table 3 of 3. This is where you should be able to find all the necessary links.
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