Yesterday, Microsoft released yet another crucial computer security patch aimed at addressing a similar kind of vulnerability that the WannaCry ransomware was taking advantage of. The patch is available even for those versions of Windows that are no longer supported, such as Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.
According to Microsoft, these updates are complementary to the usual batch of security updates they tend to release on Tuesdays. The newer versions of Windows (Windows 7 and upwards) will receive them automatically, while the users of older versions will have to download them manually.
If you wish to download them yourself, head on over to the Microsoft Download Center or the Update Catalog.
Last month’s updates were designed to patch the older versions of the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, the vulnerability found in all versions of Windows and even certain versions of Linux. The fresh security updates address three separate vulnerabilities and are not related to the SMB flaws.
Eric Doerr, General Manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center, cites past nation-state activity and disclosures as the reasons behind releasing these crucial updates. He warns that although these were made available for all versions of Windows, the best protection is using an up-to-date system.
Last month, data security researchers noted there was a bug in the original WannaCry exploit that merely caused the infected Windows XP system to crash, rather than becoming infected. However, when the next wave of ransomware finally sees the light of day, no one can guarantee we will be as fortunate again.