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Security & privacy

Patch Tuesday is here: Update your Windows PC to fix 6 zero-days

Once a month, the most prominent software development companies release updates and patches for their products. Google released a patch for Chrome early though, tap or click here to see why it’s important.

The update cycle has become known as Patch Tuesday, and the December edition is stacked with security fixes and privacy plugs. It will be the last one for the year, and Microsoft addresses 67 security flaws in its operating system.

Six of the vulnerabilities are zero-day flaws. Read on for details and how to get this critical update.

Here’s the backstory

As we mentioned, Microsoft’s December Patch Tuesday update fixes a total of 67 flaws. These range from Remote Code Execution (RCE) bugs and denial-of-service attacks to elevated privileges.

The most severe vulnerabilities include six zero-day exploits, one of which is spreading the Emotet botnet. Then there’s a Windows Installer flaw designated as CVE-2021-43883 that could give hackers elevated privileges. While the CVE-2021-43880 flaw allows hackers to remotely delete files on your computer.

A spoofing vulnerability, assigned the CVE-2021-43890 designation, is the only issue known to be actively exploited. The update also fixes a bug in the Windows AppX installer, where a hacker could enter your PC through malware.

According to the flaw-tracking website Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), Microsoft has had to patch 887 vulnerabilities this year. It’s a 29% reduction in the number of flaws compared to last year.

What you can do about it

As always, you must keep your gadgets and computers updated. Most updates introduce cool new features and patch flaws that cybercriminals could exploit.

To update your Windows PC, follow the steps below:

  • Tap the Windows button
  • Click on Settings
  • Select Update & Security
  • By default, the Windows Update page will be displayed
  • If an update is available, click the Install Now button

If the update hasn’t reached your PC yet, check back later until it arrives. You’ll be looking for KB5008212 or KB5008206 depending on your machine. After installation, you’ll need to restart your computer.

In other security news, Apple rolled out iOS 15.2 on Tuesday. The update adds security features, a way to protect children from harmful images and a new way to listen to Apple Music.

Software giant Adobe also pushed out 11 updates this week that address 60 vulnerabilities across its products. These include patches for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and Lightroom.

Keep reading

If your PC is running Windows 11, update now to fix a nasty slowdown bug

Before you upgrade to Windows 11, read this warning to save yourself a lot of time

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