Microsoft Adds Nation-State Protections in June Security Patch

Microsoft includes Windows XP and Vista in June's Patch Tuesday updates

The company is releasing the updates to all versions of its operating system, including Windows XP, which was no longer supposed to be supported. Microsoft released a March security patch (MS17-010) to address the targeted Server Message Block 1 flaw in Windows systems, but that release was also somewhat unprecedented in that it also applied to older systems, such as Windows XP.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment when asked whether the company had received warnings of an imminent attack, either from security researchers or government agencies.

For more information about the remaining security vulnerabilities released on June Patch Tuesday, visit Microsoft's Security Update Guide.

Users of Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, which are now supported by Microsoft, need not worry about the latest patch as it will be updated automatically.

June's Patch Tuesday for Windows machines brought no less than 96 different patches for various vulnerabilities.

The update was released as part of the company's regular Tuesday schedule.

The software giant did previously say that it wasn't going to patch these holes in older incarnations of Windows, but now appears to have thought better of that policy. Now it has released another security update for Windows XP, this time due to the "heightened risk of exploitation" by copycats.

Microsoft revealed before that these exploits only affect unsupported versions. Despite initial reporting suggesting Windows XP was the key to WannaCry's success, Kaspersky Lab asserted that most victims of WannaCry were running Windows 7, an operating system that is still officially supported by Microsoft.

It would appear that May's security updates don't leave Microsoft entirely at ease, though. Over 100 million people still used Windows XP as of late 2016, according to research, including millions of users in China.

Eric Doerr, general manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center encouraged all customers on these older platforms to update as soon as possible, but stressed Microsoft would not change its current support arrangements.

Some 7 percent of PCs are thought to still run XP despite it being three years out of date.

Unsupported Windows versions that have just received fixes are: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2003 R2. In anofficial blog post, Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Cyber Defense Operations Center at Microsoft found that the three vulnerabilities in the Windows OS could prove to be detrimental for its users. "There are many reasons - some even valid - why patches aren't applied".

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