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Security & privacy

Update now: New Windows patch fixes active exploits

You should note Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday updates, especially if you value your computer’s security. Every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft releases a raft of updates that makes the Windows operating system more secure.

Some of the patches could be minor code changes, but occasionally it includes updates that fix critical flaws. Hackers exploit these flaws to breach your PC if you leave them unpatched. Tap or click here for Windows 10: Update crashing apps, causing Blue Screen of Death.

In keeping with tradition, Microsoft released an update this week that fixes serious flaws. Keep reading to find out why this update is so critical and how you can get it.

Fixing critical Windows flaws

The first issue highlighted by Microsoft affects the internet protocol used by the Windows operating system. A system uses the TCP/IP implementation to connect to the internet and a hacker can use it to infect your computer.

Described by Microsoft as two Critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerabilities, it doesn’t seem likely that the average hacker would try to breach a system by using this flaw. It noted the vulnerability is rather complicated and making a functioning exploit would be difficult.

The second issue addressed is more serious than the RCE flaws. It plugs a serious Denial of Service (DoS) vulnerability (CVE-2021-24086).

“We believe attackers will be able to create DoS exploits much more quickly and expect all three issues might be exploited with a DoS attack shortly after release. Thus, we recommend customers move quickly to apply Windows security updates this month,” Microsoft’s security team said.

Microsoft said a hacker could leverage the DoS exploits to launch a remote attack. The attack would cause the victim’s computer to execute a stop error. When this happens, your computer will go into the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death.” Once that happens, the situation is dire.

While flaws are discovered all the time, the tech giant quickly took ownership of the issues. As part of the update details, Microsoft said, “these vulnerabilities result from a flaw in Microsoft’s implementation of TCP/IP and affect all Windows versions.” It added that the flaws weren’t known to any third parties, and Microsoft discovered the issues.

Update you operating system

It can’t be stressed enough that you should always keep your operating system and internet-connected devices updated. The patches protect you from hacking attempts and minimize the risk of your personal information being stolen.

Microsoft only addressed the critical flaws above, but the update fixes vulnerabilities across Windows, Microsoft Office and SharePoint. There are 56 flaws in this update and 11 are critical. Naturally, this poses a serious risk to your computer.

To update Windows:

Click the Start Menu and open Settings, click Update & Security, then click Windows Update. From there, you’ll be able to see if new updates are available for download. If not, click Check for Updates to force the process.

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