Microsoft resurrects Windows XP patches for second month straight

It seems Microsoft has learned their lesson, and in the latest Patch Tuesday they included Windows XP, which exited support in 2014, releasing a patch for the OS for what we can only assume is a serious impending attack. A Microsoft blog post announcing the move said the patches were prompted by an "elevated risk of destructive cyberattacks" by government organizations.

"In reviewing the updates for this month, some vulnerabilities were identified that pose elevated risk of cyberattacks by government organizations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors, or other copycat organizations", the company confirmed, adding that it's releasing these new patches for all versions of Windows including those that are outdated. The ransomware spread through a flaw in Windows that was leaked as part of a trove of hacking tools believed to belong to the NSA.

"As part of our regular Update Tuesday schedule, we have taken action to provide additional critical security updates to address vulnerabilities that are at [heightened] risk of exploitation due to past nation-state activity and disclosures", wrote Eric Doerr, general manager of the Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC), in a post to a company blog.

Last month Microsoft made the decision to issue a "highly unusual" patch for Windows XP.

Are you still using Windows XP?

Microsoft tagged last month's malware as "WannaCrypt;" most settled on the alternate "WannaCry" as the name. The patches for all Windows versions will be available via Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update.

Microsoft also maintained that organizations should long ago have moved away from older, unsupported platforms such as XP. None of those exploits work on supported versions of Windows. A Microsoft spokesperson told CNN Tech that security teams are actively monitoring cyberthreats, and the decision to release Tuesday's updates is "an exception based on the current threat landscape and the potential impact to customers and their businesses".

When WannaCry was at its height, Microsoft issued a notice that it had already patched supported versions of Windows against this and other vulnerabilities that had been leaked in April.

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