Windows 7 and XP are vulnerable to a major security exploit – so patch now

Image credit: Microsoft (Image credit: Image Credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has put out a warning to those still using its Windows XP, Windows 7 or other early operating systems (OS), urging them to update their PCs with the latest security patch in order to prevent against a serious threat.

The computing giant has discovered a vulnerability in these earlier versions of its OS that's similar in nature to the devastating WannaCry ransomware that swept the globe in May, 2017 and continues to affect thousands of users.

The vulnerability is ‘wormable’, according to Microsoft, which means that no user interaction is required for their system to be exploited, and affected systems are capable of propagating the virus to other at-risk computers and networks around the world. 

How to patch

Microsoft has claimed that it has, as yet, “observed no exploitation of this vulnerability, [but] it is highly likely that malicious actors will write an exploit for this vulnerability and incorporate it into their malware”.

As such, the software heavyweight is urging that “affected systems are patched as quickly as possible to prevent such a scenario from happening”.

There are download links to the appropriate updates found at the foot of this page for those still using any of the following operating systems: Windows 7, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2008, Windows 2003 or Windows XP.

Users running Windows 8 and Windows 10 aren’t at risk of this particular exploit, although it’s always wise to keep up to date with the latest security patches regardless.

Harry Domanski
Harry is an Australian Journalist for TechRadar with an ear to the ground for future tech, and the other in front of a vintage amplifier. He likes stories told in charming ways, and content consumed through massive screens. He also likes to get his hands dirty with the ethics of the tech.