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You may or may not be aware that in the last week a major vulnerability was exposed for Microsoft Windows. I’m not going to go into the finer details but I will give you this summary:
1) It affects all versions of Windows (so it’s not something new)
2) Can expose your computer to hackers/spyware/viruses etc. without any interaction from you at all. You simply go to the website, or open the picture through IM or whatever, and BLAMMO, you’re infected.
As of yesterday, there were already 57 known viruses using this exploit. More followed.
At first, Microsoft wasn’t going to have it’s patch ready until next Tuesday. That would be a full 14 days after the exploit was discovered. I was originally going to write this blog entry and tell you to install an alternate patch to protect your systems in the meantime.
However, as of about 1 hour ago, Microsoft has released the patch early (breaking their monthly patch cycle) because of the significance of the problem.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE run Windows Update on your machines as soon as possible and get yourself patched. Even if you have your automatic updates turned on, don’t wait for this one.
I’ve had first hand interaction with this bugger and it’s not pretty. Trust me. Install it now. Reboot your computer and be safe. Hopefully you haven’t already gotten your PC all whacked out in the meantime.