Typically, Microsoft only releases security updates for unsupported Windows systems when there’s a so-called “custom support” agreement in place.
On top of the patches specifically aimed at addressing heightened risks, Microsoft had a regular patch Tuesday release today.
Microsoft received criticism for its response to the WannaCry ransomware attack, as Windows XP, which still retains nearly 6% of the operating system market share, was patched much later than Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.
The percentage of computers – and the version of Windows operating systems they used – seen over a four-month period in 2017. In a new post to Microsoft’s Windows blog, Adrienne Hall explains that new vulnerabilities have been discovered and they require Microsoft’s attention.
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. But Microsoft has finally updated a patch that will protect their users from similar kind of security vulnerability in the future.
“Anyone still using Windows 2003 or XP should install these patches ASAP with the expectation that they will be actively exploited in the near term”.
For those who would argue that Microsoft will now always patch these types of severe threats on unsupported OS’s or that this means XP and Vista are now being officially supported once again – I would venture to say you are mistaken. The flaws are considered to pose an “elevated risk of cyber attacks by government organisations”, Microsoft warned in a blog post. As a part, they have urgently rolled a security patch even for the Windows XP which they hand washed days back.
Microsoft has declared that the next major Windows 10 update dubbed Redstone 3, will not have SMB1 protocol. To find the desired updates, go to Security Adviser 4025685, and choose Older Platforms Table 3 of 3. The WannaCry attacks that took down thousands of systems across the world was largely based on SMB1 exploits that were leaked by Shadow Brokers.
If you’re still on Windows XP you will have to download the updates manually from the Download Center or the Update Catalog. Following the release, reports claimed that Microsoft had been sitting on the patch since February. However, these older versions do not have the level of exploit hardening and platform features (e.g., Device Guard, instant cloud protection etc.) available in Windows 10 to effectively protect against the threat. Still, as long as Microsoft continues to support the software, you never know when some noteworthy changes might appear.