Microsoft issues urgent Windows security fix after USA intelligence tip off

Ruben Fields
January 15, 2020

This means that you may boot into Windows normally.

So, if you're one of those people impacted, what can you do? It's still usable, but it's less secure. Don't expect any patches or help from Microsoft if any issues arise.

If you haven't already upgraded to a version of Windows that is still in support, or switched to Ubuntu or another Linux-based alternative, then this is a pretty good time to update.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has stated that devices still using the operating system will be more prone to attacks as Microsoft ceases to patch weaknesses.

"Every Windows device relies on trust established by TLS and code signing certificates, which act as machine identities". While we commend you resolve to this point, if you're finally ready to throw in the towel, you should be glad to hear there's still a free way to upgrade to Windows 10. For example, your PC needs at least 32 GB of hard drive storage space, 1 GB of RAM and a processor with a clock speed of at least 1 GHz.

Besides this, the flaw in CryptoAPI could also make it easy for remote man-in-the-middle attackers to impersonate websites or decrypt confidential information on user connections to the affected software.

Springsteen's son Sam joins Jersey City's Firefighters Bruce Springsteen
We got to spend some time in my office talking about music but more than that they're proud parents of a new JC Firefighter. Asked what it mean to be a firefighter in Jersey City, Sam shyly said, "I'm going to take a pass on this one".

At Canada Computers in North York, they are stocked up on Windows 10 upgrades.

Technically, you don't have to upgrade right away. That's a huge number, and with Microsoft no longer pushing out updates, it could make Windows 7 a more attractive target for hackers. "Software updates... [or] Security updates or fixes".

"A critical vulnerability in this Windows component could have wide-ranging security implications for a number of important Windows functions, including authentication on Windows desktops and servers, the protection of sensitive data handled by Microsoft's Internet Explorer/Edge browsers, as well as a number of third-party applications and tools". Neuberger said the agency took an unprecented step by reporting the bug, instead of hoarding the vulnerability and using it for its offensive tools and operations.

All Windows 7 users will have to eventually move to Windows 10, or whichever OS works for you.

This is not a hypothetical. The massive WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 left millions of Windows XP computers vulnerable to attack. But regardless of whether the U.S. government got a heads-up on the patch, the most worrying thing is that the flaw - which impacts all versions of Windows, including Windows 7 - will not be rolled-out to anyone who is still using a version of Windows 7 after January 14, 2020.

"Many businesses are still running Windows 7 because they've been slow to act, hadn't seen it as a priority, or thought of it as too much of a daunting challenge to upgrade all their systems", Galvin says. Keep reading for advice on how to do this, or whether you may be better off buying a new laptop or PC. Or buy a Mac.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER